Help Line: 904-724-7782

History of NAMI


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 it’s 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.


Founded in 1987, the Jacksonville affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is an informal organization of the family and friends of people with a mental illness.

We give support and friendship to each other and advocate for a greater number of services at a higher level of quality for those who have mental illness.

Members share the knowledge gained through their own experiences – both successes and failures. Similar experiences foster supportive networks to assist those going through a time of crisis or heartache.

When you attend a NAMI Jacksonville meeting you will only be asked to share your first name. The level of participation you engage in is your choice. You may ask questions, make comments or simply listen until the atmosphere of friendliness and sharing helps you talk about your own situation.