SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A mental health advocacy group in Savannah is still fighting to keep its doors open. The local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness is still struggling to find the funding after their major fundraising event went away.
NAMI Savannah offers education, support, and advocacy for members in Chatham County for individuals or family members that may have a mental illness, but now since finances are an issue that could all go away.
The NAMI Savannah organization that advocates for mental health say they’re in need of money to continue to serve the people of Savannah.
“We were coming up on a hard budget to where we had money in our account to keep the doors open through April. We’ve had some more donations come through and we’re very positive about being able to continue on,” NAMI Savannah President, Jared Campbell said.
News 3 spoke to the local chapter in November and then time was ticking but now they’ve added a new position. Lynda Watts is an attorney by day and the new executive director at night.
“I have a real passion for helping the community in this regard. It’s a difficult issue for family members and for people that are facing mental challenges and an organization like NAMI can be the difference between living a life that’s happy and free because you get education and support or end up homeless,” NAMI Savannah Executive Director, Lynda Watts said.
NAMI Savannah isn’t funded by the state so they rely on fundraisers. They held a tennis tournament for the past few years to fundraise. Now they’re depending on Watts to give them a boost.
“It’s a temporary position. I’m going to come in for a few months to help build up NAMI Savannah and bring in new volunteers, help build up the programs, bring in corporate sponsors, and apply for grants,” Watts said.
And she’ll do everything she can to keep the organization afloat while volunteers help guide individuals in the right direction.
“It’s got to be heartwrenching to know that you have a child that can’t take care of themselves because of a mental health care concern,” Campbell said.
Watts tells me the work they do in the community requires community support. The money raised will go to rent and utilities and will help build support groups.