From Kitchen Tables to National Voices
In the early 1970s, small groups of family members, nationwide, began to gather around kitchen tables searching for support and understanding of their mentally ill family member, more often than not, a son. The majority of those meeting together were moms blamed by the medical profession that their parenting skills caused their child’s schizophrenia or other mental health disorder.
NAMI was in the beginning and continues to be a volunteer-driven organization.
In the late 1970s, some of these families gathered together in Madison, WI and decided to form state associations. Within the next few years, the state organizations decided to form a national organization named NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table has blossomed into the nation's leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an alliance of more than 600 local Affiliates and 48 State Organizations who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.