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History

The National Alliance on Mental Illness ( NAMI ) started in 1979 as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table. Today, it has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations, and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

NAMI of Central Suffolk, a grassroots organization, is a local affiliate, that was founded in 1996, and the only full service affiliate in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. Our Board of Directors represents people living with mental health challenges who are in recovery as well as family members nurturing loved ones with mental health challenges. We remain 100% volunteer powered and believe that through volunteering, we heal and develop a more meaningful life helping others to help themselves.

We serve Suffolk County, the fourth largest county in NYS, housing more than 1.5 million residents. NAMI reports that one in five people experience mental health challenges during their lifetime, and one in four families have this experience. Our target population is large and diverse reflecting statistics that validate disparities in mental health care among people of color as well as persons living in lower socio-economic areas. This population is far more vulnerable due to challenges accessing healthcare in general and for a wide host of other social barriers. NAMI of Central Suffolk is here to help people break through those barriers. We are fortunate to have volunteers throughout the county eager to support our mission through our numerous services and programs.

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