NAMI Lane County helps families, friends, consumers of mental health services, and caregivers by providing resource material, referrals, support groups, political and legislative activity, public outreach and anti-stigma education.

Jose Soto and Frank King provided an update on NAMI Lane County’s most recent initiatives. Jose Soto is the Executive Director of NAMI Lane County. Jose’s been actively involved in the helping field for over 16 years in Lane County. He has been a counselor, advocate, service coordinator, and peer specialist working for and partnering with several local agencies including ShelterCare, Looking Glass, and Lane Worksource and HIV Alliance.

Frank King is a former writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He uses his lifetime battle with depression and his skills as a speaker and comedian as a vehicle for social change. Frank is the official spokesperson. Frank helps people with mental illness to become comedians.

A few notes from the presentation:

  • NAMI is volunteer driven
  • NAMI is trying to promote more conversations about mental health
  • 25% of our population suffers with some sort of mental health
  • Early drug use is a huge factor in young people
  • NAMI has a clothes closet program and a program where bikes are repaired and given to those who need them
  • NAMI works in partnership with PeaceHealth, Lane County and state agencies as well as law enforcement agencies (to train officers on crisis intervention)
  • Programs cover all of Lane County
  • Currently working on programs that will be in partnership with the UO and federal agencies
  • NAMI is building a serenity garden at the new state hospital
  • Donations for the serenity garden are needed and can be made on the NAMI website