Redwood City – Today, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a grant for $15,000 for the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI SMC).

The grant will support NAMI SMC’s Peer Programs which support Peers as they progress on their journeys to recovery and integration into the larger community.

“The provision of peer-led, ongoing support helps those facing mental health challenges on their journeys to recovery and integration into the larger community,” said Supervisor Dave Pine. “NAMI SMC’s Peer programs have the added benefit of giving the Peer Leader, or mentor, the responsibility of connecting with his or her peer.”

NAMI San Mateo County is the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  NAMI SMC is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental illness and their families through support, education and advocacy. The organization holds educational classes, support groups, presentations in the community and also runs a Warm Line phone line which serves as the first point of contact for many individuals facing mental health challenges, and their families, to access resources, support and understanding on how to move towards treatment and recovery.

“The NAMI Peer programs of Peer to Peer, Connection, In Our Own Voice and Peer PALS are the backbone of our work in supporting Peers in their recovery,” said Jerry Thompson, RN, NAMI SMC’s Board President. “We are most grateful to Supervisor Pine and the SMC Board of Supervisors for recognizing the value of our Peer programs and the difference they make.”

In each of these programs, NAMI SMC “employs” at least one Peer Leader who has gone through recovery and can relate to and mentor the program participants. Often, these paid positions are the first the Peer Leader may have had in many years and represents a significant milestone in his/her own recovery process. As of the end of 2018, NAMI SMC has 14 Peer Leaders participating in one or more of these programs. Without the participation of the Peer Leaders, NAMI SMC would be unable to offer and deliver the Peer programs to the community.