SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – One of the leading mental health advocacy groups in Savannah may close its doors.
The local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is scrambling to fill a funding void left when their major fundraising event dissolved.
NAMI-Savannah President Jared Campbell says the clock is ticking.
“Based on what we have in the bank and guaranteed monies we know we have coming in we can stay here through April of next year, of 2020,” Campbell said.
NAMI Savannah has relied on a tennis tournament for the bulk of its funding for several years, but other commitments prevent the organizers of that event from continuing.
“It raised, for all intents and purposes, about 80 to 85% of all of the monies we needed to operate on a day-to-day basis here in Savannah,” said Campbell. “NAMI Savannah offers a wonderful thing for our community. We don’t actually offer any services, paid services, but we do provide opportunities for individuals, either with mental health issues or family members, that have mental health problems to come in and participate in support groups.”
Those groups meet regularly in their offices.
It was NAMI support groups that helped 51-year-old Bob Egan of Savannah find the local resources he needed to live with schizoaffective disorder more than 20 years ago. Egan says news of the non-profit’s fiscal shortfall is alarming.
“If we pull NAMI away from the situation, we’re down one less advocacy organization to support us. It’s even more critical now, that they stay in the community, for people who need local support,” Egan said.
NAMI Savannah needs more than fiscal resources, Campbell says they also need human resources.
“I mean monetary support is extremely important right now because we need to be able to do that to keep the lights on, pay the insurance, and the rent, but it’s also important that we get individuals that can come in and support us on a day-to-day, weekly, monthly basis,” said Campbell. “We need help with fundraising, talking with the community, to help us advocate, to help us to do educational meetings.”
NAMI Savannah first opened its doors in the Hostess City in 1988.