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Frequently Asked Questions about NAMI’s Online Guidelines


Before participating in NAMI programs/trainings

Why do I have register to participate in online NAMI programs/trainings?
Registering for NAMI programs/trainings is important for three reasons: 1) to limit attendance
and avoid unmanageably large participant numbers, 2) to identify participants as you allow
them to enter the program/training, and 3) to collect emergency contact information. We do
these things to create a quality and safe experience for our participants.

What information do you absolutely need from me during registration?
We need your name, your phone number, your email, your emergency contact, and your
emergency contact’s phone number. If you are attending a NAMI training online we may also
need your mailing address to ship leader materials to you. We do not need your IP address. All
other information collected (e.g. demographics) is optional and not required to attend NAMI

Do I have to use my real name when participating in NAMI programs?
You do not need to use your real name when participating in NAMI programs. If you are not
using your real name, please let your emergency contact know. This will help if a crisis occurs
and we need to call them. However, we do require your real name if you are attending a NAMI
leader training online.

Why are you collecting my emergency contact information?
In an in-person NAMI program/training, we can be with the individual having a physical or
mental health emergency; we can wait with them until emergency services arrive and ensure
their safety until then. In an online NAMI program/training this is impossible. We collect
emergency contact information so we have access to someone who knows the participant and
can connect the individual with local medical/mental health services, if a crisis occurs. We rely
on the emergency contact to tell us where to send first responders if we must call 911. By
collecting this information, we can better support our participants when they need us.

Where does the info I provided to you go? How will it be used?
The information provided at registration stays with the hosting NSO and/or NA. We will use it
only to identify you as a participant and send you the password and/or link to join the
program/training. We do not share it with any outside organizations or individuals.

If we have used a third-party form to register you (e.g. EventBrite), please refer to the third
party’s data collection and privacy policies to see how your information was stored/used.

Why is a password required to participate?
By password-protecting the online platform, we ensure that only those with the password can
enter the NAMI program/training. This prevents unregistered individuals, or “online trolls,”
from entering the meeting. These individuals have been known to post unwanted content or
cause a disruption. The risk of online trolls has become one of the unfortunate realities of
online programming. NAMI is determined to do what we can to protect our participants.

Having a password for an online platform is like closing the door in an in-person NAMI program
– it prevents disruptions and unregistered/unexpected attendees.

I’ve heard of “Zoom-bombing” and online trolls. How are you preventing that?
There are multiple measures NSOs and NAs can take to decrease the likelihood of harassment
and heckling during online NAMI programs/trainings.

To prevent online trolls from entering, we password-protect the online platform and require
registration from all participants. By identifying participants, we can control who receives the
password and who is allowed “into the room” when they log into the online platform.

To lessen the damage online trolls can do if they somehow enter the room, NSOs and NAs can
disable participants’ ability to share their screens, record the meeting, or have one-on-one
chats with other participants. A producer (see Who is the “producer” and what are they doing?)
can quickly identify and remove the online troll from the platform and prevent future entry.

Can I just call into the meeting? Do I have to use a laptop/tablet?
We understand that some people may not have access to laptops/tablets and/or may prefer to
call in via phone. If a program participant chooses to do this, it is essential that they receive any
materials that will be shared throughout (e.g. charts, handouts) via email or mail prior to the
NAMI program meeting. We must also be able to identify the phone number as belonging to
the registered participant.

Participants who choose to call in must also be aware that if they drop off the online platform
or do not respond when prompted, this may be interpreted as an emergency and the
emergency contact will be alerted.

When possible, we encourage participants to use laptops/tablets to join the online platform
when attending NAMI programs online for the most comprehensive and quality experience.

If a trainee is attending an online training to be a NAMI program leader, they must use a
laptop/tablet to join the online platform. Leader training includes practicing skills, coaching and
mentoring. Leader trainees must attend using a laptop/tablet with a webcam and audio

While participating in NAMI programs/trainings

Who is the “producer” and what are they doing?
When offering NAMI programs/trainings online, it’s important to address technological issues
with the online platform and with individual participants. The producer is the individual that
handles technological issues, allowing program leaders/trainers to focus on curricula and/or

During in-person NAMI program/training, the hosting site usually has staff present to address
any concerns with the venue and to serve as security. The producer fills this role in online
delivery. Due to the limitations of online platforms, the producer must be present throughout
the program/training.

The producer is bound to confidentiality like every other attendee. They do not participate in
the NAMI program. They are usually a NAMI-affiliated staff member or volunteer that has been
trained in the online platform.

Why do I have to be in a private place when participating in an online NAMI
NAMI program/training participants should be in a private place when on the online platform.
A private place is one where the participant can reasonably expect not to be interrupted by
others. Besides limiting distractions and ambient noise, this also ensures the privacy and
confidentiality of the other participants. The only people that should be “in the room” of the
online platform and seeing/hearing what’s going on should be the registered participants,
program leaders, and producer. Headphones/ear buds can help protect your privacy and that of
other participants.

How is my data stored (e.g. chat messages)?
The answer to this question depends on the data collection and privacy policy of the online
platform. For example, if Zoom is the online platform being used, then data is collected
according to Zoom’s policies. NSOs and NAs are not able to alter these policies, but they should
take precautionary measures, such as deleting the chat history after each use.

We encourage participants who are concerned about data collection and storage to refer to the
online platform’s policies.

Can you 100% guarantee my confidentiality and privacy while participating in online NAMI
We are unable to provide a 100% guarantee of confidentiality and privacy in our NAMI
programs/trainings. We take many precautionary measures to limit confidentiality breaches,
such as:
• Disabling participants’ ability to record the meeting via the online platform
• Not sharing participants’ personal information with other participants
• Asserting our code of confidentiality in each program/training meeting
• Password-protecting the online platform and requiring registration to prevent online
trolls/unwelcome observers

After participating in NAMI programs/trainings

I have feedback. Who do I send it to?
Please send feedback to the hosting NSO and/or NA, not the individual program leaders.
Contact information for the hosting NSO and/or NA should be made available at the end of
each program meeting. NSO and NA contact information is also available at

Are you going to use my information for promotional/marketing purposes?
The personal information obtained at registration will be used only for identification and
emergency purposes. Unless consent is explicitly given, participants’ information should not be
used for any other purpose (e.g. adding it to a mail distribution list for newsletters).

I want to get in touch with another participant. Can you share their info with me?
For confidentiality and privacy reasons, we will not share the information of any participant.

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