ARLINGTON, Va., March 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA), Inc.® have launched a new partnership to expand mental health education, awareness, and support activities on the campuses of colleges and universities and in local communities.
The partnership will enable NAMI, the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization, and AKA, the nation's oldest sorority founded by African American college-trained women, to prepare new volunteer leaders for the future and reach broader constituencies as part of a growing movement to address unmet mental health needs.
"Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is proud to stand with NAMI in the fight for mental health and wellness," said Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. "Our members will work to bring attention to mental illness among diverse populations with historically low utilization of mental health services."
"NAMI and AKA will stand together to provide help and hope," said NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti. "We are thrilled to be working with one of the nation's most distinguished service organizations to help individuals and families affected by mental health conditions. Our common mission will include eliminating fear and discrimination that too often discourage people from seeking help when they need it."
The first year of the partnership will include:
- Participation in each organization's national conventions: The NAMI National Convention is scheduled for July 6-9 in San Francisco. The AKA Leadership Seminar will be held in Chicago, July 15-19.
- With NAMI's support, AKA will organize "Launching 1908 Dance Moves for NAMI," a community awareness event in downtown Chicago on July 16.
- Local NAMI Affiliates and AKA chapters across the country will come together to sponsor mental health awareness events, such as AKA/NAMI Awareness Day on April 11 and Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 4-10.
- National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in July will commemorate a special connection between the two organizations. Congress established the month in 2008 in honor of the late African American novelist, Bebe Moore Campbell, who was both a NAMI member and AKA honorary member.
- AKA chapters will work with NAMI on Campus clubs at universities and colleges around the country to advance education and support around mental health.
About National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization with approximately 1000 state organizations and local affiliates, dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. For more information, see www.nami.org.
About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA)
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of more than 283,000 members in 987 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, and South Africa. Led by International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as "America's premier Greek-letter organization for African American women." For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and its programs, log onto www.aka1908.com.
SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness