Support Volunteers

Contact Us

NAMI Minnesota
800 Transfer Road, #31
Saint Paul, MN 55114

phone: 651-645-2948
toll free: 1-888-NAMI-Helps
(1-888-626-4435)
fax: 651-645-7379

email: namihelps@namimn.org

Site Designed By: mod&co
Site Developed By: Plaudit

Support Group Volunteers

Thank you for your interest in helping NAMI Minnesota provide support to people living with mental illnesses and their families. We are always looking for dependable and compassionate individuals to help facilitate our peer-led support groups. All of NAMI Minnesota’s support groups are run by trained volunteers, and are peer-to-peer support groups, not therapy groups. The role of a facilitator is one of managing group dynamics and guiding participants – it is not about counseling others or providing therapy.

Support Group Facilitation involves a generous commitment on behalf of our volunteers. We ask facilitators to donate 2-3 hours on a weekly or bi-monthly commitment, for a full year or more. Interested parties are highly encouraged to attend the NAMI support group(s) they are interested in facilitating, submit their application materials, and arrange their screening interview well in advance of the scheduled training.

NAMI support groups are facilitated in teams in order to prevent volunteers from being overwhelmed and ensure people are able to take time off for scheduling conflicts, vacation, or illness. Candidates can elect to join existing support groups or create new groups in their local community. If you are interested in becoming a support group facilitator and do not have a partner, we can likely match you with an already trained facilitator or another applicant.

Placement opportunities and details are listed below. Please be sure to review the position details carefully and ensure you meet the peer-peer qualifications for the group.

Please Note: NAMI cannot accept volunteers wishing to complete psychology, social work, or counseling related practicum requirements, or individuals looking for work experience; unless that individual candidate also meets the peer-to-peer qualifications of the volunteer placement and is willing to facilitate the group as a peer and not as a professional.

To Apply: Please submit the Volunteer Application online. If you are a current NAMI volunteer and have a recent application on-file, there’s no need to re-apply - Just email volunteer.resources@namimn.org and include your name, contact information, and the placement/position you are interested in. If you require hard-copy application materials or have further questions, please contact us at 651-645-2948 x110 or via email.

For People Living with a Mental Illness

NAMI Connection Support Groups (Now Recruiting)
This peer-based, mixed diagnosis, mutual support group is for people living with mental illnesses. Groups meet on a weekly basis for 90 minutes. Facilitators must self-identify as living with mental illness, have good interpersonal communication skills, and be living well in recovery.

NAMI Minnesota is particularly looking for applicants to pair with other candidates in the Moorhead, Winona, and Metro Areas.

Young Adult Connection (Now Recruiting)
This group is designed to offer support for young people living with mental illnesses (aged 16-20) as they transition into adulthood. Facilitators must be responsible young adults, living well in recovery, and 26 years of age or younger.

LGBTQ Connection (Now Recruiting)
This mixed diagnosis mutual support group is for members of the LGBTQ  (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer) community. A safe place to confront the unique challenges that many members of LGBTQ communities face, in addition to living with mental illnesses, this group meets on a weekly basis for 90 minutes. Facilitators must self-identify as living with mental illness, have good interpersonal communication skills, and be living well in recovery. Additional knowledge of LGBTQ issues is also recommended.

Parent Connection (Now Recruiting)
This group is designed to offer support for parents that live with mental illnesses. Facilitators must self-identify as living with mental illness, have good interpersonal communication skills, and be living well in recovery.

Open Door (Now Recruiting)
This diagnosis specific, bi-weekly group is designed to offer anxiety management strategies and promote better understanding of anxiety disorders. Based on the book “Embracing the Fear: Learning to Manage Anxiety and Panic Attacks” by Judith Bemis and Amr Barrada, this peer-led support group is for people living with a panic or anxiety disorder. Facilitators must have experienced anxiety and be living well in recovery.

VET Connection (Now Recruiting)
This group is designed to offer support for military veterans who may live with mental illnesses like PTSD or are interested in learning more about mental illness and networking with other veterans to share their experiences. Candidates must be military veterans, living well in recovery.

For Family Members and Friends

Family Support Groups (Now Recruiting)
These peer-based, mutual support groups are for family and friends who have a loved one living with mental illnesses, regardless of diagnosis. Groups meet for 90 minutes on a bimonthly basis, though some groups elect to meet more frequently. Facilitators should have good interpersonal skills, and be a close family and/or friend of someone living with mental illness.

Parent Resource (Now Recruiting)
These mutual support groups are for people who have a school-aged child (under the age of seventeen) who is living with mental illness or challenging behaviors. Groups meet on a bimonthly or weekly basis. Facilitators should have good communication skills, and either have raised or currently be raising, a child living with mental illness.

Daughters & Sons (Now Recruiting)
These mutual support groups are for individuals that have a parent living with mental illness. Groups meet on a bimonthly or weekly basis. Facilitators should have good communication skills, must have a parent/guardian who lives with mental illness, and a willingness to share their experiences, especially as they relate to caretaking.
NAMI Minnesota is particularly looking for facilitators (16-20 years of age) to lead Young Adult focused groups.

Partners & Spouses
This group is for spouses, domestic partners, and/or people who share child-rearing responsibilities with a person who lives with mental illness - regardless of their loved one’s diagnosis. Groups meet bimonthly and potential facilitators should have good interpersonal skills, and be in a healthy relationship with a partner that lives with mental illness.

* 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 or serving in one of our outreach positions. Volunteers wishing to provide other services are encouraged to contact non-profit direct service providers in the field to offer their assistance.