The second annual Octoberfest scheduled for October 1 – 3, 2021 at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road in Wheaton, will offer an exciting lineup of activities over three days including a carnival, car shows, live music and more.
All proceeds of the event benefit the critical mission of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) DuPage to provide support, advocacy and education in order to improve the quality of life of individuals with mental illnesses and their families.
NAMI DuPage was founded by a group of parents in 1985 as an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a nationwide mental health advocacy organization, begun in 1979, dedicated to improving the quality of lives of people affected by mental illnesses. These parents were looking for services for their children who had been diagnosed with mental illnesses. By joining forces, they thought they could advocate for improved services. NAMI DuPage has grown from this small handful of people to an organization of over 1,000 members and has become one of the largest and most innovative of 1,200 affiliates nationwide. NAMI has been a catalyst for change and reform in DuPage County.
Among some of the innovative programming offered by NAMI DuPage at little or no cost are:
- The Living Room (for adults 18 and over) – The Living Room is a peer-led alternative to the traditional ER for those with mental illness crises. The Living Room is a comfortable, non-clinical setting that provides the guest a safe and calming atmosphere where he or she can talk with a peer counselor. The guest is first assessed for safety and is asked for preliminary information. The guest is then paired up with a peer counselor, who can talk the guest through the immediate crisis, offering empathetic listening, practical solutions, and additional resources. When COVID first hit, NAMI DuPage was able to quickly change and provide all of its programs via Zoom. However, due to the importance of being in person, the Living Room remained open to walk-ins.
- Individual and Family Peer Counselors
- A variety of support groups and educational programs for people living with a mental health condition and their loved ones
- Recreation and social programs
- Community education at schools, hospitals, and other organizations
- Supported employment services
- NAMI P.D. Connect – For over 35 years, NAMI DuPage has consistently been a leader in developing innovative, responsive programming, and we are working diligently to provide local police officers with the support they need to effectively handle calls involving a mental health crisis.
The organization hopes the three-day weekend Octoberfest event will bring individuals and families to the fairgrounds to enjoy the many activities planned. General admission is $5 per day, with children under 3 admitted free, and free parking. Presale tickets for the cost of the carnival ($25 in advance/$30 at the gate per day which includes general admission) and Uncorked and Uncapped – Beer/Wine Tasting ($20 in advance/$25 at the gate and includes general admission) are available through a link at namidupage.org.
*Information provided by NAMI DuPage