In June 1980, a group of families began meeting on a regular basis to share their mutual concerns about their family members dealing with severe and persistent mental illness. These meetings were moderated by a professional therapist and were held at Johnson County Mental Health Center. The meetings were designed to provide education and support for anyone attending. Because of an increase of attendance over time, the families felt a need to formally organize.
Our group was informally organized with the cooperation and assistance of Johnson County Mental Health Center in January 1982. Board officers and directors were appointed in April 1982, with specific duties and the primary goal of opening a drop-in center for adults with SPMI. That center, known as The In Pace, was dedicated on November 22, 1983.
This group of families, along with consumers and other friends, became affiliate with NAMI in 1989. Our Mission Statement explains our expanded purpose in being NAMI members:
NAMI Johnson County, Inc. is devoted to improving the quality of life of those affected by biological brain disorders known as mental illness through:
- peer support and education for families, consumers, and friends
- advocacy and
- eradication of stigma