The National Alliance of Mental Illness, NAMI, is trying to raise awareness about mental health issues in the East. 

NAMI provides support and education to everyone effected by mental illness including the individual, the family and the community.

Their eastern conference, ‘Weathering the Storm of Change,’ is a conference with a purpose. 

“We are very interested in mental health and how if effects people’s lives,” said Christine Spencer, president of NAMI Pitt county. “When we have conferences like this, it really makes an improvement and brings it into the community and lets people know what’s going on.” 

The conference teaches attendees about a wide variety of mental health topics. 

“We’re learning about the opioid crisis, we’ll be learning how to advocate for getting more money in mental health, and we’ll learn about the NAMI programs and psychiatric advance directives,” said  Deby Dihoff, executive director of NAMI North Carolina. 

They talk about one change in particular, hence the title.

“Right now we are going to a different Medicaid managed care kind of a situation for individuals on Medicaid,” said Dihoff. 

Attendees are learning about how to get the best access to behavioral healthcare with the change. 

Spencer has experience in caring for loved ones with mental illness and says NAMI has been a great resource. 

“I really felt like I found a place where I could actually learn what was going on, how to deal with my loved one that suffered from mental illness and also how to keep myself well,” said Spencer. 

The conference has speakers, exhibitors, NAMI members and more. 

“We have people here from all walks of life because mental health illness not discriminate.  It happens everywhere and we’re getting that education out there,”  said Spencer.

If you’d like to learn more about NAMI, please visit their website at