National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI National Board of Directors

Nancy Carter

Nancy Carter is president of the Urban Los Angeles affiliate of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Her responsibilities include educating, supporting and advocating for the rights of the mentally ill and their families in Los Angeles.

A native of Logan, West Virginia, Ms. Carter has spent the last 30 years of her career in the entertainment industry. After attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., she began a career as a professional model and studied acting at the famed Negro Ensemble Company in New York. In 1971, Ms. Carter moved west, changed professions and began one of the first talent agencies for African Americans and persons of color in Los Angeles, California. Prior to 2005, she owned and operated “Applause!   The Audience Company” for ten years. The company supplied audiences for numerous well known television shows.   

Ms. Carter is most proud of her work in the field of mental health. When a family member was diagnosed with manic depression twelve years ago, she became an active family advocate for persons with brain disorders. From 2003 until 2005, she served on the California State Board of NAMI. Ms. Carter was elected to the NAMI National Board of Directors in June 2006. She now works full time for NAMI Urban Los Angeles. Her primary areas of interest at both the county and national level are multi cultural outreach, criminal justice reform and children’s issues. Ms. Carter is well known in the Los Angeles mental health community and serves on several local and state committees for mental health planning. 

Ms. Carter is a certified Family-to-Family education teacher for NAMI and has graduated over 150 students from her classes in the last three years. She is also a NAMI certified trainer for mental health providers. She conducts support groups, workshops and presentations for the public at local churches, schools and county agencies. Ms. Carter has developed and taught workshops in the areas of foster parenting, probation sensitivity and cultural competency. 

Ms. Carter received the 2004 Family Advocate award for her dedicated service to the citizens of Los Angeles from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission. She received the 2005 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.  She was recently appointed by the Board to serve as  County Commissioner on   the Policy Roundtable for Child Care.  

If you were to ask Nancy what brings her the most pleasure in life, she would respond by saying “helping others to help themselves”. The motto for NAMI Urban Los Angeles says it all – “No Family Stands Alone”.