What seems an unlikely partnership from the outside is a testament to NAMI as an organization.
“The Whistle Binkies charity event started in memory of one of their bartenders that was lost to suicide,” says Diana Evans, community talent coordinator for NAMI Southeast Minnesota. The bar approached the organization about suicide prevention and the two began a “great partnership.”
This partnership emphasizes the commonality of mental illness: 90% of people who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness and 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness any given year. By holding such a high-profile fundraising event, NAMI is working to spread awareness of mental illness and, specifically, their suicide prevention programs.
Fundraisers, like the one held at Whistle Binkies, help to keep NAMI’s programs free or low cost, so more people can to get the help they need. Last year, the event raised over $35,000.
3 things to know about NAMI
1. There is hope for recovery from mental illness.
“Our mission is to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness through education, support, research and advocacy,” says Evans.
2. We understand.
Most of NAMI’s programming is peer to peer, meaning group leaders and teachers have a mental illness themselves or have a loved one suffering, so they understand what it’s like to live with a mental illness.
3. Most of the programming is free.
“We don’t want cost to be a hindrance for people to receive the education and support they need,” says Evans.
What: Whistle Binkies 14th Anniversary and Jamie Engle Charity Event
When: 12 to 10 p.m. Saturday June 11
Where: Whistle Binkies North, 3120 Wellner Drive NE
Admission: Free, with multiple donation opportunities