National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building and building a community of hope for all those in need.
Our local affiliate, NAMI Northern Illinois, is located in Rockford, Il. Members of NAMI Northern Illinois are families, friends and people living with a mental illness such as major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder. NAMI Northern Illinois offers community educational courses and support groups.
Several people were instrumental in organizing the local Alliance. Steve Langley, CEO of Stepping Stones of Rockford, Inc. had formed a support group that met at the Rockford Public Library. Ron Hon, Director of Mental Health Services at Swedish American Hospital, also met with a group of parents. The two groups joined and formed the local chapter of NAMI, known as Northern Illinois Alliance for the Mentally Ill. (NIAMI). Membership was thirty-one and dues were $1.00. Meetings were held once a month at the Home Federal Savings.
The Organizing Members of NAMI Northern Illinois are Steve Langley and Ron Hon. The Charter Members are:
- John and Evelyn Aspling
- John and Fay Carney
- Elizabeth Collingsworth
- Richard and Catherine Dolan
- John and Mary Ann Holmes
- Dick and Darlene Johnson
- Roger and Norma Johnson
- Phyllis Lynn
- Rose and Joseph Nicolosi
- Harvey and Dorothy Smith
- Jay and Becky Sturn
- Eugene and Ann Verona
The first “Family Resource Guide” was printed in 1997 by Editor Dorothy Hooper with guidance from PIP Printing. The publication of 1,000 copies was made possible by memorial gifts and contributions acknowledge on the inside cover of the booklet. In 1998 a second printing of the “Family Resource Guide” was partially funded by a $500 grant from the Gannett Foundation. In 2000 a third edition of the “Family Resource Guide” was printed. It was funded by a grant from Eli Lilly. In 2003 Randy Roberson and Eileen King collaborated on a newly revised edition of the “Family Resource Guide”. In 2006 the “Family Resource Guide” went through a 5th edition. The Guide cost $3.00 to purchase one. Under the menu selection “Resources”, the Guide is described.
NAMI Northern Illinois conducted three education programs; NAMI Family to Family, NAMI Peer to Peer, and NAMI Visions for Tomorrow. In 2000 the first NAMI Family to Family 12 week educational l course was conducted. NAMI Northern Illinois provided training and material for the leaders. Many NAMI Family to Family courses have been held since the year 2000. In 2002, NAMI Peer to Peer classes became available for consumers in October. In 2003 NAMI Visions for Tomorrow offered education and support for families of children and adolescents.
As of 2013 NAMI Northern Illinois holds three to four NAMI Family to Family course. Starting in the summer of 2013 we hope to have our first NAMI De Familia A Familia (Family to Family) course conducted in Spanish. NAMI Basics has replaced NAMI Visions for Tomorrow. We continue to support parents and caregivers of children and adolescents.
When NAMI Northern Illinois was first formed in 1984 the membership was 31 people. By 1988 membership had grown to 114 people In 1991 membership grew to 143 and by 1998 we were at 168. Today in 2013 we are at 250 and growing every day.
Become a Member
Make a Donation
Click on Join NAMI tab