What We Do

NAMI Oregon’s mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals living with mental illness and for their families and other loved ones.

We live our mission by offering free classes, support groups, and workshops and presentations for all those affected by mental illness, including individuals living with illness and their family members, friends, and loved ones. NAMI programs fill in the information gaps in the mental health treatment and support system.

In 2016, NAMI affiliates in Oregon offered 545 signature NAMI programs, serving nearly 5,800 people. NAMI Oregon’s toll-free Helpline responds to about 2,000 calls and emails per year, and local affiliate Helplines serve several thousand more people with local navigation and support.

All NAMI programs are led by specially trained volunteers who are peers. For example, when an individual living with mental illness takes a NAMI class, the people teaching the class are in recovery from serious mental illness. And when a family member attends a support group, the facilitators are all family members with a close relative who lives with mental illness.

Our NAMI teachers, facilitators and presenters have direct lived experience with mental health disorders. You don’t have to explain yourself to us or feel ashamed. We know first-hand what you are experiencing. We have and continue to experience it ourselves.

  • All NAMI signature programs are peer-led.
  • All NAMI signature programs are free to participants.
  • All curriculum is nationally certified, evaluated, and updated.
  • Our public presentations are designed to serve multiple community settings, from retail businesses to church congregations to school classrooms.

NAMI Oregon in Action

We educate. Offered in communities across Oregon through our local NAMI affiliates, our education programs ensure thousands of families, individuals and educators get the support and information they need to understand, overcome, and thrive. The information NAMI provides in its education classes isn’t provided in our mental health treatment system.

We support. Our structured support groups, Helpline, and other initiatives are designed to provide the emotional support we all need when mental illness strikes. Support is provided in a peer-led environment that is safe and supportive.

We advocate. NAMI shapes statewide and local public policy for people with mental illness and their families and provides volunteer leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to preserve and expand responsive and effective mental health treatments and support services.

We lead. NAMI Oregon is the only grassroots, membership-governed mental health education and advocacy organization in the state of Oregon. Through our policy advocacy and through special public events, such as our annual NAMIWalks Northwest, we fight for change and combat the stigma and prejudice that prevents people from reaching out for help.

We listen. Our toll-free NAMI Helpline (800-343-6264; 503-230-8009) allows us to respond to thousands of requests each year, providing vital information and support — and a much-needed lifeline for many Oregon families and individuals who feel alone or who struggle when mental illness strikes.