In 1979, two mothers came together to share a secret: both women had grown children with severe mental illness. Against the forces of stigma and discrimination, they channeled their fears and frustrations to bring about positive change for their loved ones and others.
From this humble beginning emerged the National Alliance on Mental Illness - now known as NAMI - and a national grass roots movement was born. During the past two decades, thousands of parents, spouses, siblings, friends, and the ill have worked tirelessly to bring mental illness out of the shadows.
NAMI has built its organization on four cornerstones: Support, Education, Advocacy and Research. With more than 220,000 members in 2002, and 1200 state and local affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American District of Samoa and Canada. NAMI's members work to bring hope and progress to thousands of people with severe mental illness.