Life Changing Impact on NAMI and Beyond

Paul and Laura Bobotas

Laura and Paul Bobotas have been making a life-changing impact on the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Wilmington since they joined in June 2016. They quickly became dedicated members, attending the Family to Family and Family Support groups. When the moderators of these groups faced health issues, Laura and Paul stepped up to ensure that these vital resources for families affected by mental illness could continue.

Their impact on NAMI only continued to grow from there. In addition to leading these groups, Laura and Paul started doing CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) presentations which is a crisis training program for police officers, the Sheriff’s Department, EMS, and dispatch personnel who are likely to come in contact with individuals in mental health crises. Laura and Paul share their story with the program’s participants, providing them with a firsthand understanding of what it’s like to be a family member of someone going through a mental health crisis. “As we go through this crisis, it is scary, not just for our children, for us too, we’re all going through this as a family.”- Family Member.

Their hard work and dedication to NAMI have been recognized by the organization, with NAMI NC awarding them the Elaine and David Purpel Family Respite Award in 2020. Their commitment to this program has helped raise awareness of mental health in the community and is helping break down the stigma associated with mental illness.

Laura and Paul have also had a profound impact on thosearound them, always willing to help answer questions andprovide support to other family members. “Laura and Paul haveseen it all and have a wealth of experience and knowledge.” -Family Member. Laura and Paul are an inspiration to many NAMIleaders. They always maintain a positive attitude, and theirhopefulness has helped many family members cope with theirfamily mental health challenges.

Their contributions to NAMI Wilmington have been immense,and their impact on the organization and its members isimmeasurable. Through their involvement with NAMI, Laura andPaul have grown and changed, becoming more involved in thecommunity and especially with youth mental health issues. Theyhave even taken on the role of CIT coordinators, working toeducate police officers and make a difference in theirinteractions with those affected by mental illness. Their efforts inFamily to Family training, recruiting Family Support leaders,leading the CIT presentations, and keeping these programsstrong were critical to the growth of NAMI Wilmington.

Their dedication to volunteering and giving back to theircommunity extends beyond NAMI. Paul volunteers for KidsMaking it, a non-profit woodworking business for at-risk youth,and both Paul and Laura volunteer at Strategic behavioral centerin Wilmington. Laura and Paul have made it their mission toimpact and affect as many people as they possibly can.

Laura and Paul Bobotas have made an immeasurable impacton NAMI and the community at large. Their dedication, hard work,and personal struggles have inspired others and changed lives.They are a testament to the power of volunteerism and a shiningexample of the good that can come from helping others. Theyare deserving of recognition and we are grateful to have them aspart of our NAMI Wilmington family. We thank Laura and Paul fortheir selflessness, dedication, and commitment to making apositive difference in the lives of those who need it most.