NAMI San Diego Friends in the Lobby


Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


Hospitals Throughout San Diego CountySan Diego, CA 92123


What is Friends in the Lobby (FIL)?

Friends in the Lobby (FIL) volunteers are a diverse group of caring and passionate individuals. They understand the stress and anxiety that hospitals cause and strive to be a point of contact and support for individuals with lived experience and their families during this critical time. Volunteers will be placed in one of 10 behavioral health units and provide resources.

NAMI San Diego proudly partners with Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, UCSD Medical Center, Scripps Mercy Hospital, Bayview Behavioral Health Campus, Alvarado Parkway Institute, Palomar Medical Center, Tri-City Hospital, Crestwood Behavioral Health, and the VA Medical Center La Jolla and Rady Children's Hospital.

Time Commitment

2 Hours / Week for a 6-month commitment

How Do You Become a Friends in the Lobby (FIL) Volunteer?

  • Step 1: Fill out a Volunteer Application
  • Step 2: Complete a Volunteer Interview
  • Step 3: Provide Two Personal References
  • Step 4: Attend a Volunteer Information Session and a Friends in the Lobby Training


  • Experience working with people in need of support in a local behavioral health unit!
  • Learn about Behavioral Health and the many resources available in San Diego County!
  • Improve your own skill set through active listening, public speaking, and effective communication!
  • Utilize your passion and experience in a meaningful and impactful way!

Volunteering with NAMI San Diego is more than just another opportunity. It is becoming a part of the Mental Health Community! With your support we can show that "It’s OK to talk about Mental Illness"

Apply Here:



  • People Skills
  • Mental Health
  • Bilingual
  • Critical Thinking
  • Community Outreach
  • Advocacy

Good Match For


Requirements & Commitment

  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  •  2 Hours / Week for a 6-month commitment
  • Comfortable working with loved ones in psychiatric inpatients units.

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