By Zoe Cooley, Secretary, Latah Alliance on Mental Illness
The mission of the Latah Alliance on Mental Illness (LAMI) is to provide hope, support and advocacy for individuals affected by mental illness and for those who love them. We also aim to promote understanding and acceptance by helping to remove the stigma associated with mental illness.
LAMI activities include:
1) Maintaining Alliance House, a semi-independent residence for persons with severe and persistent mental illnesses
2) A public monthly meeting devoted to education and advocacy about mental illnesses, treatment services, and related issues
3) A monthly Family Support group meeting for family members, partners, and loved ones of persons with mental illness
4) Co-sponsoring weekly Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) meetings for peers at the 1912 Center
5) Coordination with NAMI/Idaho and the national organization, National Alliance on Mental Illness in educational outreach and support of better treatment for persons who carry a mental illness diagnosis.
The goal of Alliance House is to provide a supportive living environment and a safe and affordable housing opportunity for individuals with mental illness. There are six resident beds available in the House. We encourage our residents to reach their full potential through participating in Moscow’s community, employment, and social service programs. The house manager, fellow residents, and service providers monitor the residents. This situation allows our residents to live more independently while still in a supervised environment.
The house manager assists the residents in developing independence skills, completing daily living tasks, and problem-solving of daily struggles. The residents practice and learn skills to maintain their psychiatric stability and achieve their definition of recovery. These skills include menu planning, shopping, cooking, sharing house space and equipment, cleaning, and yard care.
One of LAMI’s perennial challenges in terms of House management is a limited budget. We will use Dime in Time funds to help purchase a dining table and six chairs to replace the current well-worn dining room furniture in the House.
It is estimated that twenty percent of Americans experience a mental health diagnosis at any one time. Idaho is ranked 49th in the nation for its mental health services. The World Health organization ranks the burden of mental illness as more severe than being a paraplegic. This burden is likely exacerbated by the negative stigma attached to mental illness and the limited services available.
Alliance House is proud to have the opportunity to provide service to individuals who are developing the capacity to lead satisfying lives. Thank you for helping us support individuals with mental illness and allowing them to feel supported by the Moscow community.