Who We Are

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has become the nation’s voice on mental illness.

With organizations and affiliates in every state, NAMI effectively provides advocacy, research, support, and education about serious mental illness. Members of NAMI include consumers, families and friends of people living with mental illnesses, mental health providers, students, educators, law enforcement, public officials, politicians, members of faith communities, and concerned citizens.

When NAMI San Francisco was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency in 1983 it was known as the San Francisco Alliance for Mental Illness. The monthly newsletter and Family Support Line were created in the 1980s and we also started holding monthly meeting sat the Family Service Agency at that time.

In 1996, the first NAMI San Francisco members were trained and began providing Family-to-Family education classes. Two prior NAMI San Francisco Presidents went on to serve as President of NAMI California. The first San Francisco Bay Area NAMI Walk (benefiting the seven Bay Area affiliates) was held in 2005 and set a national record by raising more than $269,000.

Today, NAMI San Francisco depends on the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers to provide a telephone Help Line, education programs, support groups, as a well as a quarterly newsletter, and monthly general education meeting.

The primary goals of NAMI San Francisco are threefold:

1. Promote Empowerment

Promote the empowerment of consumers and their loved ones to pursue wellness in their lives as they define it and to advocate for themselves within the mental health system and in the design of their treatment plan/health maintenance plan.

2. Work Towards Unity

Work towards achieving unified delivery of mental health services, easily accessible to all, in the place of the existing multifarious, disjointed and over-complicated systems.

3. Remove Stigma

Advocate for public understanding and acceptance of mental illnesses as no different from physical illnesses and disability, thereby removing stigma.

Donate or Become a Member

Donations and membership dues help us to fulfill our mission of providing support and education to individuals and families affected by severe mental illness, and in our efforts to advocate for improvements in the care and protection of our loved ones. We are working hard to stamp out stigma and encourage effective research in studies of brain.

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