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About NAMI: Support, Education, Advocacy, and Research

From its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

For three decades, NAMI has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country. Dedication, steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in NAMI’s mission by grassroots advocates have produced profound changes. NAMI’s greatest strength is the dedication of our grassroots leaders and members. We are the families, friends and individuals that serve to strengthen communities across the country.

Due in large part to generous individual, corporate, and foundation donations, NAMI is able to build on its success and continue to focus on three cornerstones of activity that offer hope, reform, and health to our American community: Awareness, Education, and Advocacy.

Financial contributions allow NAMI to offer an array of programs, initiatives, and activities in support of the NAMI mission, a sample of which is described below.

Awareness and Support: A Pathway to Recovery

NAMI’s support and public education efforts are focused on educating America about mental illness, offering resources to those in need, and insisting that mental illness become a high national priority. Mental illness is a serious medical illness that affects one in four families. No one is to blame. Treatment works, but only half of people living with mental illness receive treatment. NAMI has engaged in a variety of activities to create awareness about mental illness and promote the promise of recovery.

Education: The Face and Voice of Mental Illness

NAMI offers an array of peer education and training programs, initiatives and services for individuals, family members, health care providers and the general public. NAMI’s education and support programs provide relevant information, valuable insight, and the opportunity to engage in support networks. These programs draw on the lived experience of individuals who have learned to live well with mental illness and have been extensively trained to help others, as well as the expertise of mental health professionals and educators. NAMI and volunteer grassroots leaders are committed to education as the pathway to recovery, empowerment and wellness. In addition to education programs and initiatives offered through NAMI National, many of NAMI’s over 1,100 affiliates offer an array of support and education programs and activities for families and individuals. Many of NAMI’s program offerings are also available in Spanish language and some are also provided by means of translations into other languages.

Advocacy: A Respected Force

NAMI is recognized as the preeminent voice on Capitol Hill and in state houses across the country for the millions of Americans living with serious mental illness. NAMI advocates have fought for policy changes that raise the bar on mental illness care and promote treatment and research on par with other illnesses. NAMI’s advocacy provides a unique voice for people who live with mental illness and their families in state and federal public and private-sector policies that facilitate research, end discrimination, reduce barriers to successful life in the community and promote timely, comprehensive and effective mental health services and supports. NAMI National and NAMI grassroots leaders work steadily to influence critical national policy debates as they unfold.

What are the benefits of NAMI membership?

All NAMI members receive the benefits of membership at all three levels of the organization, including:

  • Membership in the local affiliate, state organization, and NAMI national organizations
  • Eligibility to vote in all NAMI elections
  • A subscription to The Advocate NAMI’s quarterly magazine, as well as access to optional subscriptions to specialty newsletters and information at the national, state, and local levels.
  • Member discounts on brochures, videos, promotional items, and registration at NAMI’s annual convention and many state and local conferences.
  • Access to exclusive members-only material on www.nami.org
  • Become a NAMI member

How can I volunteer with NAMI?

As a grassroots organization, NAMI relies on volunteers at all levels of the organization. Contact the NAMI Fresno at 559-224-2469

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