NAMI
National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from NAMI Greater Milwaukee
 

NAMI Greater MilwaukeeHistory

On February 26, 1979, Mrs. Roz Libman along with a small group of Milwaukeearea families formed the Alliancefor the Mentally Ill of Greater Milwaukee, Inc., in response to their shared problem of trying and failing to get help for their children with severe and persistent mental illnesses.  The goals and objectives set forth in the Articles of Incorporation in 1979 were in part: “To survey and critically rate all public and private mental health facilities, services, programs, individuals and their operating budgets; to provide information and referral….; to institute an active and aggressive program of mental health education; to …support research….; to participate in mental health planning;…”

NAMI of Greater Milwaukee was an outgrowth of the 1970’s "consumer" movement.  The families of mentally ill persons were tired of being made to feel responsible for their family member’s mental illness.  Families, they said, were as much victims of the illness as is the person who has the brain disorder. They felt victimized by mental health professionals who seemed to blame them and at the same time refused to respond to their pleas for treatment for their family member.  The families wanted to be seen in a fair and accurate light and began to assert their needs, just as other devalued groups were doing.

 The organization revised its mission in 1991 to include the offering of direct services to consumers.  It added a minority service access program, and a helpline and upgraded its newsletter to be a conduit for information on education, advocacy, legislation and research.  NAMI GM founded “The Consumer Satisfaction Team” and “Our Space,” a club for people living with mental illness.

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