The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI Mass) is a nonprofit grassroots education, support and advocacy organization. Founded in 1982 and obtaining 501(c) (3) status in 1999, the state’s voice on mental illness, NAMI Mass, with 18 local affiliates and over 2,500 members is comprised of individuals with mental illness, family members and others in the mental health community.
We provide education, support, and advocacy programs to Massachusetts consumers and their families to improve the public’s awareness and understanding of mental illness. We advocate at all levels to ensure that everyone affected by mental illnesses can receive, in a timely fashion, the services that they need and deserve.
CEOs Against Stigma – our new campaign, funded by a grant from the Attorney General, to engage business leaders in combatting stigma in the workplace. Mental illness is the leading cause of lost productivity, and because of stigma, the least acknowledged fact of workplace life.
Connection for Veterans – a support group for veterans with mental illness who are in recovery – whatever their diagnosis – facilitated by trained peers.
Criminal Justice Diversion Project – A NAMI-led private-public partnership dedicated to training police officers in all 351 cities and towns in crisis intervention techniques.
NAMI Compass – the state-of-the-art resource helpline we are launching this year as the go-to source for crisis information, navigation of the treatment system, housing referrals, work and training support and more.
NAMI Diversity, Inclusion & Outreach – our new plan to reach out to neighborhoods where diverse groups have been underserved by NAMI’s programs.
Educating the Educator – a program designed to help educators understand students with biologically based mental illness from the perspective of a psychiatrist, family member and teacher.
For more information on any of these programs, please contact us.
Central to NAMI Massachusetts is a commitment to programs that are both peer/consumer-driven and family-driven; to the key concepts of recovery, resiliency, and support that are essential to wellness and quality of life; and to full and meaningful lives for all persons. Our supporters include individuals, families, local foundations, corporations, churches and professionals. We also receive support from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Our free educational programs offer resources, insights, coping skills, and genuine support for families and those in recovery. Our volunteers who run our educational offerings strive to better equip class participants with knowledge and skills.
All of our programs are taught by peers — people who have lived the journey and can relate on a personal level to those seeking knowledge and comfort. These volunteers are trained by NAMI Mass according to the best practices instituted by NAMI National.
“IOOV” is a free presentation given by two people living with mental illness about their journey with their disorders. The hour-long talk is appropriate for family members, friends, professionals, lay audiences and other people living with mental illness. It includes a videotape, personal testimony, discussion and enriches the audience’s understanding of how people with these serious disorders cope with the reality of their illnesses while recovering and reclaiming productive lives.
IOOV is presented to any type of group: students, law enforcement officials, educators, providers, faith community members, politicians, professionals, inmates, and interested civic groups. All presentations are offered free of charge. Learn more about IOOV on the NAMI Massachusetts website.
Patrick Corrigan is a Professor of Psychology at Illinois Institute of Technology and Principal Investigator of the Chicago Consortium for Stigma Research.