NAMI Santa Clara County relies heavily on volunteers to maintain our excellent programs and services. Volunteering at NAMI Santa Clara County is an opportunity to join NAMI in creating a mental health friendly community that enables people and families impacted by mental health conditions build better lives.

* Note: Santa Clara County cannot accommodate volunteers under age 18, with the exception of certain annual community events (when supervised by a responsible adult): NAMIWalks (September / October), Holiday Gift Drive (mid-December), and NAMI Picnic (July).

Benefits of Volunteering with NAMI Santa Clara County

NAMI Santa Clara County is a grassroots mental health resource center known for its warm and welcoming culture. Being part of NAMI not only means learning firsthand about the experience of mental illness and its associated social issues, and helping people to find support and solutions, but also enjoying the support of a network of people who walked a similar path.

According to the World Health Organization:

“One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.” Click here for full press release

NAMI Santa Clara Volunteers make a difference in our community by raising mental health awareness and by creating a culture of inclusion in our community. When you become a NAMI volunteer, you belong to a  diverse, action-driven community that is changing society for the better.

Volunteer Opportunities

NAMI Santa Clara County offers a range of volunteer positions.  Some volunteer positions requires a “lived” experience and NAMI training/orientation. Current opportunities are listed at the bottom of this page.

NAMI Volunteer opportunities may include:

  • General Office Work: Volunteers meet at our office every Monday and Wednesday, 10am to 1pm, to work on stress-free office projects.  These include folding and labeling brochures and newsletters, preparing class binders, creating NAMI bookmarks, and other tasks as needed.
  • Annual Events: Help at events such as the picnic or the holiday drive. (Note: Suitable for teens under age 18 with responsible adult)
  • Booths/Tabling: Staff the NAMI booth/table at various community events and functions.
  • NAMIWalks:  Our biggest fundraising and community awareness event of the year is NAMIWalks Silicon Valley.  Form or join a team for the walk (held in the Fall). Help with day of event needs.  See for details.

NAMI offers free mental health education classes. Graduation from one of these classes will allow you to get involved in additional volunteer opportunities. *Note: The following volunteer positions require extra job specific training in addition to graduation from NAMI Peer to Peer  or NAMI Family to Family classes.

  • Helpline Help Desk:  Our Helpline Help Desk volunteers provide support, information and referrals to public during NAMI office hours (M-F 10am – 6pm). Respond to phone calls, emails and people coming into the office.  Must have lived experience with mental health challenges, some knowledge of NAMI programs and community mental health resources, multi-tasking abilities and basic computer skills. Helpline volunteers are friendly and compassionate with the ability to listen non-judgmentally.
    • Note: Due to the complexity of Helpline service, we ask for a 6 month commitment of 4 – 16 hours per month, and we provide/require 4- 6 weeks of training (at least once a week).
  • Teach NAMI Classes: Teach a NAMI class upon completion of NAMI instructor training. 
  • Facilitate Support Groups: Facilitate a support group for people living with a mental illness and family members, upon completion of NAMI facilitator training.

How To Apply

Download the volunteer application and send the completed application to Volunteer Outreach Manager by email or by mail to our office at 1150 S. Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128. The Volunteer Outreach Manager will contact you after she receives your application.  * Please Note: Some positions may require training and/or orientation.

Volunteer positions are subject to availability and necessity. If we don’t have a role available for you right now, we will keep your information on file for future opportunities.

For more information about volunteering, email the Volunteer Coordinator.