NAMI DuPage's 'Shine a Light' gala May 7 to raise funds for mental health services
May is Mental Health Month. To celebrate, NAMI DuPage is holding its annual "Shine a Light Gala" on Saturday, May 7, at the Naperville Marriott.
The last two years may have kept NAMI from hosting a gala, but the recent need for their services have increased.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely consistent, up from one in 10 adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019."
When the pandemic hit, NAMI DuPage didn't miss a beat, immediately jumping on Zoom for teen presentations, support groups, and recreation. The Living Room, an alternative to the ER for someone having a mental health crisis, continued to operate in person. In both 2020 and 2021, NAMI DuPage served over 20,000 people.
Proceeds from the gala will go to support NAMI DuPage's free and low-cost services, including mental health education for middle and high school students, youth and adult support groups, peer counseling, educational classes, career education, and social/recreation programs.
This year's gala is set to rival previous years with dueling pianos, silent and live auctions, dinner, dancing, and more.
The theme, "Black and White," was chosen to encourage our communities to see that mental illness is not black and white but a spectrum that is constantly changing.
NAMI DuPage's Community Partner Award will be presented to the DuPage County Specialty Courts for their foresight and compassion in operating the mental health, drug, and veteran's courts.
The DuPage County Specialty Courts were implemented as an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders and break the cycle of arrest, drug addiction, mental health issues, and recidivism. These programs address the root of the substance abuse and trauma by using a multidisciplinary team approach which enables the participant to be integrated back into the community after completing treatment.
The gala will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Naperville Marriott, 1801 N. Naper Blvd. in Naperville.
Cost is $150 or $1,500 for a table of 10. It includes dinner, table wine, champagne reception, and access to the silent and live auctions. (Other alcoholic beverages available for purchase.)
To buy tickets or find out more about NAMI DuPage, go to NAMIDuPage.org.