NAMI OBX established to support mental health in the Outer Banks

By on April 19, 2024

Upcoming NAMI OBX Town Hall Meetings from Corolla to Ocracoke

NAMI OBX, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), announces the formation of an Outer Banks chapter to provide additional support mental health programs for adults and adolescents living with mental health issues in our communities from Corolla to Ocracoke.  This chapter was made possible by community members who have been affected by relationships with people with mental health issues; some who have family members and others who directly work with people with mental health issues.

NAMI, established in 1979, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. NAMI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with chapters in 49 states and has over 600 affiliates. NAMI OBX operates under the North Carolina State Chapter.

As a NAMI affiliate, NAMI OBX will offer free education and support programs to people in our community living with mental illness, whether that is as a lived experience, family member or friend. These programs are designed to offer support, encouragement, and resources in addition to their existing therapies or treatments. NAMI has programs designed for adults and for adolescents to help them to gain a better understanding of their mental health, coping skills and a community of support in their recovery. All facilitators are volunteers and have been trained and certified through NAMI national.

“As parents of a child with a mental health disorder, we have participated in NAMI education programs and support groups for over five years. It has been invaluable in helping us learn to understand and cope with our loved one’s experiences,” said Kathy Cooper, Co-Chair of NAMI OBX. Mrs. Cooper’s husband, Phil serves as Co-chair. NAMI Vice Chair is Dr. Richard Martin, Ed.D., LCAS, CCS.

NAMI plans to hold local awareness events to introduce NAMI OBX to our Outer Banks community through a series of upcoming NAMI OBX Town Hall Meetings from Corolla to Ocracoke between April 24th and May 13th. The presentation is thirty minutes, after which we will hold a question-and-answer session and invite the audience to participate in a dialog to better understand the needs and concerns of the community. All meetings will begin at 6:30 pm. The meetings are scheduled for: April 24 at Holy Redeemer by the Sea Catholic Church; May 1 at the Fessenden Community Center; May 6 at the College of the Albemarle, Dare County campus; and May 9 at St. Andrews by the Sea.

Local resident Dr. Richard Martin, a North Carolina Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist and a Certified Clinical Supervisor, has been a longtime advocate for those affected by mental health issues. “Mental Health has been a top concern in our community for years. Establishing a NAMI affiliate gives our community access to a wide array of resources to address the mental health challenges faced by individuals and families. For those that ask what can be done and how to help, I can’t think of a better answer than to Join NAMI Outer Banks,” said Martin. Martin’s career includes a 20-year career in substance abuse services at multiple North Carolina community mental health centers, 10 years as an Alternative School Principal and currently serves on the John T. Edwards Foundation hosting a monthly family therapy seminar and the North Carolina State Collaborative School Based Mental Health subcommittee.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. On May 18th, an inaugural NAMIwalk OBX will be held in Kill Devil Hills, beginning at Aviation Park. This awareness walk will allow residents to walk and talk with us about mental illness in the Outer Banks and help raise funds for our programs locally. There is no cost to walk, but donations are welcome. The walk will be 3 miles and begins at 9am. For more information, please contact Kathy Cooper at



Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


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