Through the Years, 1979-2019 | NAMI

During the 1970s, family support groups scattered around the nation were seeking answers and treatments for their loved ones affected by mental illness. One group in California transformed a small gathering of families into an organization called Parents of Adult Schizophrenics, a nonprofit association that eventually changed its name to the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of San Mateo.


This local coming together helped spur a national movement. What started as a wave of frustrated parents concerned for their children grew into a tsunami of organized trailblazers advocating for more research, greater support and broader public awareness called the National Alliance on Mental Illness: The nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization.


Follow our journey as we capture some of the many milestones in advocacy, research, education and awareness achieved over the past 40 years!


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