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For Immediate Release
July 22, 2004

Contact:  Bob Carolla  703.524.7600  email:


Support, Technical Assistance, Resource Center
Promotes Self-Help for Individuals With Mental Illnesses
From Diverse Communities

Arlington, VA — NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) has inaugurated a new technical assistance center to help improve and increase the capacity of consumer-operated programs to meet the needs of persons living with mental illnesses in diverse communities.

"Self-help is part of recovery," said NAMI national director Michael J. Fitzpatrick, " NAMI is committed to recovery, peer support, expansion of consumer opportunities, and multicultural action to meet the needs of underserved communities. The STAR Center is part of that vision. It will be a tremendous engine for progress."

The STAR Center is one of five consumer and consumer supporter technical assistance centers nationwide, funded by the federal Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) to promote self-help in the planning, delivery and evaluation of mental health services. Detailed information about the STAR Center is available at

"What makes the center unique is the focus on cultural outreach and self-help adaptations to ensure that recovery strategies and tools are available to a broad range of communities," said NAMI program manager Maggie-Scheie-Lurie. Those communities include:

  • African American
  • American Indian
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander
  • Latino
  • Geographic (e.g., rural)
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Cross-disability (e.g., deaf communities)
  • Faith-oriented

Major center activities will include national teleconferences, leadership forums, and scholarships for consumers from diverse communities to attend conventions, conferences, and meetings on mental illnesses.

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