NAMI-NYC Wins National Award for Diverse and Inclusive Programs


New York, NY, June 15, 2022—The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC) has been awarded the Cross Cultural Innovation and Engagement Award.

NAMI Awards, presented at the annual NAMI convention or NAMICon, recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding work to further NAMI’s mission to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness. The Cross Cultural Innovation and Engagement Award, in particular, is given to those prioritizing diversity and inclusion within the NAMI community.

“During the pandemic, all programs and services became virtual, but we also created new offerings to meet the needs of New Yorkers and center traditionally underserved communities,” shared Matt Kudish, Executive Director of NAMI-NYC, a nonprofit supporting families and individuals living with mental illness. 

“In addition to the stresses of the pandemic, BIPOC communities face police brutality during mental health emergencies and hate crimes. NAMI-NYC launched its Black Minds Matter and AAPI support groups to offer community and provide connection to mental health resources,“ Kudish noted. 

Black, Indigenous, and people of color have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic. BIPOC communities experienced higher rates of COVID cases and deaths, as well as unemployment and housing insecurity. BIPOC New Yorkers also faced significant barriers to mental health care access without adequate health insurance, interpretation services, or technology. 

NAMI-NYC program innovations led to further inquiry around how to address systemic barriers to mental health care. NAMI-NYC expanded its Spanish-language offerings and added live ASL interpretation and captions to its monthly education events. The NAMI-NYC Helpline can now provide assistance navigating the NYC mental health landscape in English, Spanish, and 180 other languages. 

“If you or a loved one needs support, we encourage you to call our Helpline. We have extensive programs, including 30 different support groups. We’ll help connect you to programs within the NAMI-NYC community and beyond,” Kudish shared. 

NAMI-NYC’s FREE programs and services are available to anyone who needs them. No diagnosis or insurance needed. Find a program that’s right for you or your family here: https://www.naminycmetro.org/find-support/.