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What is NAMI?

Improving Lives

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has a national organization as well as state organizations and local affiliates in more than 1,100 communities across the country.

What Does NAMI Do?

Through the dedicated efforts of grassroots leaders, NAMI focuses on three cornerstones of activity that offer hope, reform and health: Support, education and advocacy.

Support: Awareness and a Pathway to Recovery 

NAMI’s support and public education efforts are focused on offering individuals and the community resources and information about mental illness through a variety of activities, including:

The NAMI National Information HelpLine, which provides toll-free, direct support and referral addressing more than 4,000 requests each month.

  • NAMI Connection, a free recovery support group program for adults living with mental illness currently available in more than 300 communities throughout the country.
  • NAMIWalks, now in 80 cities each year where more than 500,000 people have walked to promote hope and recovery.

Education: The Face and Voice of Mental Illness

NAMI national and many NAMI affiliates offer an array of support and education programs and initiatives, including:

NAMI’s education programs, which have graduated more than 200,000 individuals to-date. These signature programs provide critical education to help individuals and families gain knowledge and skills for living successfully with mental illness

  • NAMI In Our Own Voice, a public education presentation by individuals who have lived the experience, has been shared with more than 150,000 people.
  • The NAMI Web site, which receives more than 7 million visitors each year who rely on NAMI for the latest and most comprehensive information on mental illness.

Advocacy: A Respected Force

NAMI is recognized as the voice of reason on mental illness. NAMI has fought for public policy changes that raise the bar on mental illness care and promote treatment and research. 

  • NAMI Advocates and provides a voice for millions of Americans affected by mental illness while promoting state and federal public and private-sector policies that ensure research, an end to discrimination and a promotion of effective mental health services and supports.
  • NAMI has Action Centers on children and adolescents, law and criminal justice and multicultural issues. NAMI’s action centers advocate for unique populations and develop and disseminate information to meet specific needs.


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What is NAMI? (PDF File)

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