National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from NAMI Cape Cod



NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership-based
organization. We provide free of charge educational and support programs
and services for families and friends of those with mental illness as well as
for those individuals with mental illness themselves throughout Cape Cod
and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. 

Our programs and services include Family To Family educational classes, family
member support groups, peer support groups, recovery education classes,
speaker events, legislative advocacy, community outreach, member meetings, 
an e-news bulletin, and more. We are able to offer our programs and services
free of charge through funds we receive from membership dues, grants,
donations, corporate sponsorhsips, and fundraising.   

NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands is an affiliate of both NAMI Massachusetts and
NAMI National in Arlington, VA.  When you become a member of NAMI Cape Cod
& The Islands you automatically also become a member at the state and national


We are a grass roots organization founded and formed in July of 1982 under
the name AMICUS which stood for Alliance for the Mentally Ill to Create Understanding
and Support
. In that year Cape Cod residents, Edie and Leo Perlstein, called
together a small group of family members at the urging of their daughter's doctor,
Alexander Hyde.  

Over the last 30+ years, the organization has evolved to our present day name
which is NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands. Our programs and services have since
grown and expanded considerably throughout all of Cape Cod and the islands
of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket to assist those in need of support.  





Support is provided through local support group meetings, membership meetings, speaker events, and other services provided through our local office at 5 Mark Lane in Hyannis. 

Education is provided through classes and programs offered to both familiy members and individuals with mental illness as well as participation in community activities, resources, and an e-news bulletin.

As a recognized voice on mental illness, legislative advocacy is provided at the local and state levels as well as through the national organization in Arlington, VA.


An estimated 26% of Americans age 18 and older struggle with a diagnosable
mental disorder in a given year. Also, within the total population range of age
18 and older for all Americans, 6% (or 1 in 17) struggle with a more serious
mental illness (National Institute of Mental Health -NIMH).

With an estimated year round population of 230,000 for Cape Cod, 15,000 for
Martha's Vineyard, and 10,000 for Nantucket, or a total of bout 250,000 (not
including the summer population), approximately 15,000 people struggle with
a diagnosable mental illness on Cape Cod and The Islands.  Some of the common
types of diagnosable mental illnesses include Clinical Depression, Bipolar Disorder,
Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

If two family members of friends are impacted by the individual with a mental
illness,an additional 30,000 people on the Cape and Islands are also impacted
by the mental illness.