With May being Mental Health Awareness month, we are shining a spotlight on a client of The Bonadio Group’s (TBG) Outsource Accounting & Finance group, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
NAMI is an organization that provides advocacy, education, support, and public awareness to individuals and families affected by mental illness to help them build and maintain healthy and productive lives. They achieve this using a multitude of resources, including educational materials on their website, mental health trainings both in the workplace and in the community, public policy work, and so much more.
NAMI and TBG’s partnership began back in March 2021, and for over a year now, TBG has handled their accounting and bookkeeping work on a monthly basis. Jennifer Arbore, Partner within the firm’s Outsourced Accounting & Finance group, manages the relationship with NAMI and is passionate about being able to support the organization.
“Having support and resources necessary for those in crisis, family members of those in crisis, or anyone who just doesn’t feel like themselves, is necessary now more than ever,” said Jen. “Addressing mental health is something that is near and dear to my heart as one of my siblings spent the better part of his life dealing with it before he passed away in 2019.”
Some of NAMI’s key programs include Working Minds, Bridging the Gap, and Mental Health First Aid.
- Working Minds is a program for workplaces about suicide prevention and is rooted in mental health. It teaches individuals how to recognize warning signs and emerging mental health issues in the workplace.
- Bridging the Gap is for people that work with young adults or children. Like Working Minds, this program seeks to teach people about the signs and symptoms related to mental illness. The program provides the tools necessary to aid in determining whether a behavior or situation is just part of being a kid or something more.
- Mental Health First Aid is a certification program very similar to a standard Fist Aid certification, except it focuses on mental health. This certification prepares a person to aid in mental health situations in the communities they work and live in.
These types of resources are so important because, according to Heather Newton, CEO of NAMI Rochester, the time to care for our mental health is before it becomes a crisis.
“Mental health care should be as routine as getting our teeth cleaned or going for an annual appointment with our primary care physician. At the same time, we acknowledge that the mental health care system is complicated and very overwhelming,” said Heather.
Furthermore, she indicated that the key to normalizing mental health conversations and battling the stigma surrounding mental health is tone at the top. It’s critical that key community leaders are comfortable having conversations and taking a stance regarding mental health training and resources.
In our workplaces, that same tone at the top is vital. Leadership must be fully invested in the mental health of their employees, and companies and organizations should consider offering mental health resources and coordinating trainings on related topics.
Every open and honest conversation is a step in the right direction. If you’d like to learn more about NAMI, the programs offered, or ways you can support the organization, please visit NAMI.org. If you’re interested in learning more about TBG’s Outsource Accounting & Finance group, click here.
This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.