Support Group Volunteers
We are always on the lookout for dependable and compassionate individuals to help facilitate our peer-led support groups. Support Group Facilitation involves a generous commitment on behalf of our volunteers: 2-3 hours on a weekly or bi-monthly basis, for a full year or more. The role of a facilitator is one of managing group dynamics and guiding participants – it is not about counseling others or providing therapy. Our groups offer individuals an opportunity to meet with peers who share their concerns, compare experiences, and to learn from each other.
Potential candidates must be either a family member of someone who lives with mental illness or someone living well in recovery; have good interpersonal skills; and be willing to make a good-faith commitment to help lead a new or existing group in their local community or online. Additional requirements are listed below based on each group model.
Please Note: We cannot accept volunteers wishing to complete psychology, social work, or counseling related practicum requirements through our support groups. We generally host between 2-4 support group trainings each year, so candidates are encouraged to apply and complete their screening in advance. Preference is given to applicants familiar with our model through group participation.
For People Living with a Mental Illness
- NAMI Connection Support Groups
Candidates must have a mental illness, live in recovery, and have good interpersonal skills.
- Young Adult Connection
Candidates must be between the ages of 18-26
- LGBTQ Connection
Candidates must be a member of the LGBTQ Community
- Open Door
Candidates must have experienced Anxiety. This diagnosis-specific group, uses the book Embracing the Fear: Learning to Manage Anxiety and Panic Attacks by Judith Bemis and Amr Barrada, as a back-drop for discussion to explore anxiety management strategies and is for participants living with panic or anxiety disorders. Familiarity with the book is recommended, but not required.
- Dual Diagnosis
Candidates must have experienced both mental illness and a substance use disorder, like chemical dependency. This group integrates SMART Recovery Techniques as a background for the discussion to support members living with mental illness and co-occurring addiction.
For Family Members and Friends
- Family Support Groups
- Parent Resource
Candidates must have raised, or be raising a child who is living with mental illness. These groups are targeted at parents and guardians of school-aged children (generally under the age of 17) who are living with mental illness. Some offer childcare options, when available.
- Partners & Spouses
Candidates must be in a healthy, committed relationship with a partner who lives with mental illness. This group is for spouses, domestic partners, and/or individuals who share child-rearing responsibilities with a person who lives with mental illness, and who are hoping to better support their loved one. It is meant to be attended by the well partner, not as a couple.
- Daughters & Sons
Candidates must have a parent/guardian who lives/lived with mental illness and a willingness to share their experiences especially as they relate to caretaking.Note: NAMI Minnesota does not offer any direct services. Our Volunteers support people living with mental illnesses and their families by facilitating the NAMI support groups listed above. Volunteers wishing to provide other services are encouraged to contact non-profit direct service providers in the field to offer their assistance.