Find Help, Find Hope!

Monthly Educational Program Schedule

Open to the Community; Free of charge

 Upcoming Programs

Veteran’s Mental Health
Patricia Ambrose & Eric Willard, Veteran’s Drop In Center

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Stepping Stones of Rockford, Inc., 706 North Main Street, Rockford IL at 6:30pm










Throughout the history of warfare, service members have been placed in unimaginable situations, often situations in which they have to make difficult decisions. Frequently, decisions made during deployment have lifelong consequences. Many veterans have expressed a desire to be the person they were before they experienced trauma, and they often try to suppress or avoid memories of the trauma they have lived through.

Some veterans are able to move past trauma with minimal dysfunction in their lives; however, for others, the traumatic event creates havoc and chaos. Trauma symptoms can become so problematic that they result in family discord, divorce, social dysfunction, significant substance use, employment difficulty, physical health difficulties, legal problems, and more. And the disruption of service members’ lives as a result of trauma symptoms is hardly uncommon.

Join us to learn of the trials and tribulations endured by our nation’s heroes and about how to help those who truly need it most.

One (1) CEU is available through The Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice
for LSW, LCSW, LPC, LCPC, LMFT and Psychologists.   

Faces of Mental Illness
The Stars of Light Theatre Troupe and In Our Own Voice Presenters

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
The Nordlof Center, 118 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61101 at 6:00pm

Stars of Light is a program of Stepping Stones of Rockford, Inc. that uses dramatic and visual arts to promote recovery, educate the public about mental illness and reduce the stigma that surrounds it. They enhance the quality of life in our community and across Winnebago and Boone Counties with artistic products that educate as well as entertain. Through the artistry of the director and participants, public fear of mental illness is alleviated and barriers are broken down to understanding and acceptance. Participants include people with mental illness and other community members.

NAMI In Our Own Voice presentations change attitudes, assumptions and stereotypes about people with mental health conditions. These free presentations provide a personal perspective of mental illness, as presenters with lived experience talk openly about what it’s like to live with a mental health condition.

Our trained presenters humanize the misunderstood, highly stigmatized topic of mental illness by showing that it’s possible—and common—to live well with a mental health condition. This presentation also provides:

  • A chance to ask presenters questions, allowing for a deeper understanding of mental health conditions and dispelling of stereotypes and misconceptions.
  • The understanding that every person with a mental health condition can hope for a brighter future.
  • Information on how to learn more about mental health and get involved with the mental health community.

As a part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, join us as we educate our community about what it is like living with mental illness through first hand perspective!

Mental Illness in the Winnebago County Jail

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Stepping Stones of Rockford, Inc., 706 North Main Street, Rockford IL at 6:30pm

In a mental health crisis, people are more likely to encounter police than get medical help. As a result, 2 million people with mental illness are booked into jails each year. Nearly 15% of men and 30% of women booked into jails have a serious mental health condition. The vast majority of the individuals are not violent criminals—most people in jails are have not yet gone to trial, so they are not yet convicted of a crime. The rest are serving short sentences for minor crimes. Once in jail, many individuals don’t receive the treatment they need and end up getting worse, not better. They stay longer than their counterparts without mental illness. They are at risk of victimization and often their mental health conditions get worse.

After leaving jail, many no longer have access to needed healthcare and benefits. A criminal record often makes it hard for individuals to get a job or housing. Many individuals, especially without access to mental health services and supports, wind up homeless, in emergency rooms and often re-arrested. At least 83% of jail inmates with a mental illness did not have access to needed treatment. Jailing people with mental illness creates huge burdens on law enforcement, corrections and state and local budgets. It does not protect public safety. And people who could be helped are being ignored.

Helping people get out of jail and into treatment is a top priority for us. NAMI believes that everyone should have access to a full array of mental health services and supports in their communities to help prevent interactions with police. These supports should include treatment for drug and alcohol use conditions, and supports like housing, education, supported employment and peer and family support.

If individuals do come to the attention of law enforcement, communities should create options to divert them to treatment and services—before arrest, after arrest and at all points in the justice system. When individuals are in jail, they should have access to needed medication and support, should be signed up for health coverage if possible and should get help planning their release to ensure they get back on track.

Join us to learn about the care in Winnebago County.

Gifts of Hope
All of NAMI Northern Illinois

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Stepping Stones of Rockford, Inc., 706 North Main Street, Rockford IL at 6:30pm

NAMI Northern Illinois is growing its annual Gifts of Hope Program, thanks to your continued support. Please join us for this fun opportunity to volunteer and enjoy a little holiday cheer together.

Volunteering and a potluck dinner to support the program takes place promptly at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 11th, at Stepping Stones of Rockford, Inc., 706 N. Main St., Rockford IL, 61103. The first activity is addressing greeting cards and filling gift bags with carefully selected safe and gender-neutral items for people who will be hospitalized or in supported housing over Christmas. After the signing and wrapping is finished, we move on to a potluck dinner. NAMI will provide beverages and paper products – we ask that you bring an appetizer, main dish or dessert to pass and share.

The gifts will be donated to the following providers and distributed on Christmas: Rockford Memorial Hospital Behavioral Medicine Unit, SwedishAmerican Hospital Center for Mental Health, Rosecrance Mulberry Center (triage and short-term crisis beds), Rosecrance supported housing, Stepping Stones of Rockford supported housing, and Jubilee Center.

Your generous donations are what make this an awesome hands-on program that provides hope to people in recovery. Contributions can be mailed to NAMI Northern Illinois, P.O. Box 6971, Rockford, IL, 61125. Please write “Gifts of Hope” in the memo portion of your check. NAMI Northern Illinois is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Call us at 815-963-2470 for more information.

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