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What is NAMI?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a national network of more than 250,000 members with affiliate chapters in all 50 states. We work to improve the lives of persons affected by serious mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or manic depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depressive, anxiety and panic disorders.

Our goal is to enable each individual with a mental illness (children, adolescents, or adults) to live the best life possible. Most of us have a relative or friend that has a mental illness, or we are living with one ourselves. We offer mutual support to one another. We educate ourselves and the public, promote better treatment and support services, and advocate for research into the causes and treatment of these illnesses.


Non-members are welcome to attend any of our meetings and receive our local newsletter free of charge for an introductory period. However, we encourage your membership so that you may receive informative state and national newsletters.

Click on the Membership link if you wish to become a member.

What is a serious mental illness?

Serious mental illnesses are biological brain diseases. As diabetes is a disease of the pancreas, mental illnesses are diseases of the brain that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, moods, and ability to relate to others. Scientific research has demonstrated biochemical imbalances that interfere with normal brain functioning.

The causes are not yet completely understood. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. No one is to blame.

Effective treatments are available. As a person with diabetes takes insulin, most persons with a serious mental illness need medications to help control symptoms. Supportive counseling and self-help groups assist in managing day-to-day lives. Housing, vocational rehabilitation, income assistance, and other community support services can provide additional help and stability.

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