Who We Are
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation's leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of more than 500 local affiliates who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.
What We Do
NAMI relies on gifts and contributions to support our important work:
We educate. Offered in thousands of communities across the United States through NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates, our education programs ensure hundreds of thousands of families, individuals and educators get the support and information they need.
We advocate. NAMI shapes national public policy for people with mental illness and their families and provides volunteer leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to save mental health in all states.
We listen. Our toll-free NAMI HelpLine allows us to respond personally to hundreds of thousands of requests each year, providing free information and support—a much-needed lifeline for many.
We lead. Public awareness events and activities, including Mental Illness Awareness Week and NAMIWalks, successfully fight stigma and encourage understanding. NAMI works with reporters on a daily basis to make sure our country understands how important mental health is.
Since 1979, NAMI has been a beacon of help and hope to all people affected by mental health conditions. From humble beginnings around kitchen tables to 48 NAMI State Organizations, more than 600 NAMI Affiliates and a national headquarters, we have grown into the largest grassroots mental health organization in the country.
For 40 years, we have been at the forefront of the mental health movement providing support, education and advocacy to ensure people get the care they need and deserve. Stay tuned for 40th anniversary recognition on nami.org, and help us reflect on our history and grassroots by sharing your well wishes, memories, shout outs or photos at NAMI40@nami.org.
More About NAMI
Meet the Board
Meet the Staff
Press & Media