NAMI ST. TAMMANY is a grass roots organization dedicated to offering education, support, resources, and advocacy for individuals living with mental illness, their families and the community. Founded in 1984, NAMI St. Tammany began as a small group of individuals with this common interest. The mental health needs of our community continue to grow as our population increases. NAMI St. Tammany and its dedicated volunteers continue to expand services to meet the community’s ongoing mental health care needs.
St. Tammany Parish is the 5th largest parish (county) in the state of Louisiana and has been the fastest growing parish since the 1970’s. In fact, the population has tripled since 1970 to 191,268 in the year 2000 (US Census Bureau). Located in the greater New Orleans area (adjacent to Orleans Parish), St. Tammany has experienced an estimated 20% population increase as a direct result of transplants from Hurricane Katrina. Housing pricing in St. Tammany has soared with much of the land area located well above sea level.
The St. Tammany Needs Assessment report indicated that one of the main problems with mental health in Louisiana is that “people don’t know how to get help.” NAMI St. Tammany is working hard to bring awareness to the local community.
How a Caring Community Can Help
- Individuals can combat stigma by objecting to negative stereotyping. They can tactfully correct misunderstandings held by others about mental illness.
- Employers can hire individuals living with mentally illness, while at the same time realize tax advantages.
- Taxpayers can insist their taxes support a community based system of services that saves tax dollars.
- Media persons can help by learning more about these illnesses and by always checking their facts and providing information to the public.
- Homeowners can get facts and information before rejecting a potential neighbor who may have this type of illness.
- Church groups and local organizations can help to finance residential units or furnish existing ones.
- Families, individuals, professionals and those with a mental illness can become members.
INCREASE AWARENESS AND ADVOCATE FOR FAMILIES AND PERSONS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS: ENVISIONING PREVENTION, EDUCATION AND TRAINING AS THE PRIMARY PATHWAY TO BETTER SERVICES AND A HEALTHIER COMMUNITY