SOURCE: Conard House

June 11, 2009 16:04 ET

NAMI-SF and Conard House Enhance Ties

Key Member of Conard House Joins NAMI-SF Board of Directors; Conard House Participates in NAMIWalk SF Bay Area for Third Consecutive Year

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 11, 2009) - Conard House and NAMI-SF today announced an expansion of their collaborative relationship. Specifically, NAMI-SF has elected long-time Conard House supporter and former board member, Alexandra L. Kutik, to the NAMI-SF Board of Directors. This comes on the heels of Conard House's third consecutive year sponsoring NAMIWalk San Francisco Bay Area.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a grassroots education and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of all those affected by serious mental illness. This includes those diagnosed with a mental illness, their family members and friends, mental health professionals, and all who share NAMI's vision and mission.

Conard House, a pioneering nonprofit organization helping people self-manage mental illness since 1960, has included NAMI-SF as a key partner for more than three years. Ms. Kutik currently directs strategic planning and resource development for Conard House, which served more than 2,000 of San Francisco's most vulnerable people last calendar year. Conard House offers a variety of transformative resources designed to empower clients and residents living with chronic mental illness, giving them hope for a better future.

"NAMI is more important than ever in a world notably lacking in mental health advocates," said Richard Heasley, Executive Director, Conard House. "NAMI is an increasingly important source of information, resources and advocacy as millions of Americans -- an estimated one in four families -- are living with mental illness today. Our expanding three-year relationship with NAMI-SF is critical to Conard House, as we continue to provide services for people to self-manage mental illness."

This year's annual NAMIWalk SF Bay Area was the most well attended yet. A nationwide fundraising and mental health awareness event, NAMIWalk is held annually in over 70 communities around the country in May, as part of National Mental Health Month.

"Conard House fills a much needed role in San Francisco, with its focus on residential treatment and supportive self-management," said Gifford Boyce-Smith, MD, NAMI Board of Directors President. "We have been impressed with Conard's city-wide leadership in helping to improve funding for mental health services. While SF-NAMI remains independent, we need to rely on and work closely with, well run organizations like Conard House if we are going to be successful in raising public awareness of mental health issues and finally eliminate stigma and other barriers to treatment for those living with mental illness."

About Conard House

Conard House, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization providing mental health services to residents of San Francisco. Founded upon core principles of self-empowerment, self-determination and the least restrictive, community-based living, Conard House opened its doors in 1960 as the City's first "halfway house" for adults following hospitalization. Today it serves more than 2,100 people in a dozen locations. Support for its programs and services come from various city agencies, service fees from organizations, rents from residents, grants from foundations, and gifts from donors. For more information about Conard House and its programs, please visit www.conard.org.

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