2020 Annual Appeal & Annual Report - NAMI CCNS - Chicagoland Mental Health

2020 Annual Appeal & Annual Report

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well in these uncertain times. As we all learn to navigate this global pandemic, I hope you will find joy in the little ways you can inspire hope this holiday season.
One of the joys of my job is the opportunity to change lives every day. Because of generous donors like you, NAMI CCNS improves the lives of people with mental illness and their families. And whether we see it or not, your impact is immense.

Thank you for the support you provide to NAMI CCNS! Because of YOU, many individuals with mental illness build relationships with us that last for months and even years. Sometimes, they give as much to our programs as they receive. Alyx is one such person.

“I am a spouse, sister, daughter, auntie, and friend to many. I enjoy living and making the world around me a brighter and more loving place. I also live with Bipolar I disorder and anxiety. These conditions brought me to NAMI and to the good and healthy life that NAMI has enabled me to create.


“As a child, I began experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety. In the 1980s, mental health care was not as available to kids as it is now. My mental illness began to overtake my life when I started college. In addition to depression, I had my first episode of mania. My grades dropped and I could not perform academically. I felt adrift, alone, and utterly hopeless. Despite excellent care, I always felt that something was missing. In 2018, I discovered NAMI Connection, a peer support group for people living in recovery, and the puzzle was complete.


“In Connection, I found a fellowship of people just like me. I found hope that I could live a positive and healthy life despite my illness. Through support and fellowship, we find strength in sharing experiences, forgive ourselves, aim for better-coping skills, and reject stigma and shame. We never give up hope.


“Through my experience, I now help others share their experiences, develop relationships, and live well with mental illness. I get as much as I give from the Connection groups that I lead.


“As both a recipient and a giver of peer support, I am inspired to support NAMI CCNS in every way I can. I give of my time, my energy, and my passion, and I also give financially to support NAMI CCNS and the invaluable programming it provides in greater Chicago. I hope you will be similarly inspired to give and help people like me create happy, full, and meaningful lives.”


Alyx has given so much to NAMI CCNS—and she continues to give every day. 1 in 5 Americans experiences a mental illness each year, and with the current pandemic, more and more people need your help. Please join Alyx by supporting us this year with a generous gift to our Annual Appeal. Together, we can reach those in our community who are struggling. We can help them. We can give them hope.

On behalf of our clients, volunteers, board and staff, thank you.

With great appreciation,



Nathaniel Ekman
Executive Director

NAMI CCNS annual reports are always available upon request or here for. If you have questions or have more questions, please feel to contact us!

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All articles, information, free groups and all services NAMI CCNS provides are possible because of generous donations from people like you!  Please consider donating today!  NAMI CCNS is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, Nami Cook County North Suburban.

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    Donation Total: $25 One Time


    2020 was another successful year at NAMI CCNS. While the COVID-19 pandemic was felt around the globe, we were able to adapt quickly by pivoting from live to virtual programming within weeks. Participation in support groups and classes is up and parallels the sharp increase in need that so many report as levels of anxiety, depression
    and stress continues to rise nationally.

    Although physically distanced since mid-March, our staff have grown closer as a team as we devote ourselves to the common goal of improving the lives of people with serious mental illness and those who love and care for them. As we count our blessings each day, we understand better than ever the value of serving those in need.

    We are indebted to our clients for the opportunity to be of service, and to our hundreds of supporters and volunteers for their invaluable contributions to our work. With gratitude for your past support, we invite you to donate once again this year. Best wishes for 2021!

    Nathaniel Ekman & Richard DeCleene
    Executive Director President, Board of Directors



    1. Reply
      Mark Sabier says:

      It seems to me that most people simply do not even realize that many people actually go through a daily struggle with themselves and society. If we thoroughly understood the feelings of each person, then I am sure we would be much kinder to each other. Therefore, I am glad that there are similar groups and communities of people who have been in similar situations and will be able to understand you like no one else. In difficult times – support, this is one of the most reliable lifebuoys in our world. Such people are already having a hard time, so let’s make their life a little easier. I sincerely believe that if we want to, we can help.

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