The Lowell Milken Family Foundation has given $1.2 million to support to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Westside Los Angeles, furthering the group’s work to provide support, guidance and hope for the growing number of Angelenos affected by mental health conditions.

The three-year commitment by the Santa Monica-based foundation ensures that NAMI West LA — whose programs reach thousands of families, individuals and educators each year — will expand its ability to offer free in-person and virtual programming in both English and Spanish, as well as providing operational funds to continue to attract, retain and support its leaders.

Communities directly impacted by NAMI West LA include Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Culver City, Hollywood, Malibu, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, Santa Monica, Topanga, Venice, Westwood and West Hollywood.

Due to its rapid response to the additional mental health crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, NAMI West LA has been recognized as a leader in the greater Los Angeles community and beyond.

“Our organization has distinguished itself, both within California and on a national level, by our ability to pivot all our programs onto a virtual platform in 2020,” said Erin Raftery Ryan, NAMI West LA executive director. “Throughout the pandemic, we expanded our programs, conducted additional facilitator trainings, and provided mentorship along the way to other NAMI (California) affiliates. NAMI National even arranged for us to lead a workshop for NAMI affiliates across the country on how to deliver virtual services more effectively.

“This generous gift from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation reaffirms the value of this work and challenges us to reach even greater heights at a time when our programs and services are needed by so many.”

The new gift builds upon LMFF’s support for NAMI West LA that began with the Lanetta Wahlgren Fund, which has supported the operational and programmatic needs of NAMI West LA since 2019 and made possible the expansion and enhancement of its signature programs.

“This gift furthers our foundation’s mission over more than three decades to equip people to pursue and attain lives that have value to themselves as well as to others,” said Lowell Milken, a philanthropist and education reform leader.

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