The affiliate that we know today as NAMI Livingston/McLean Counties is the result of the efforts of a few courageous parents, many families and individuals; friends and professionals that worked hard in the 1980′s to create an affiliate serving central Illinois from a national organization that would completely change the way we view mental illness.
During that time families dreamed of the day when a child with schizophrenia would be treated no differently than a child with another chronic illness like leukemia or mental retardation. They hoped for a time when mental illness could be discussed openly and their ill children and family members could be properly cared for in their own communities. We take this for granted today. Accomplishing these simple goals, however, would not be easy. We still carry those dreams and goals with us today continuing the journey of our former members.
There are now three important levels of NAMI: local, state and national.
Since its inception in 1979, NAMI (National) has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country. Dedication, steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in the NAMI’s mission have produced profound changes. NAMI has been the driving force behind a national investment in lifesaving research, parity for mental health care, increased housing and to ensure that treatments and services are available to those in need when they need them most. NAMI awareness efforts have successfully addressed the stigma of mental illness, ensuring the decrease of barriers to treatment and recovery. NAMI’s signature education programs have served as a beacon of hope for hundreds of thousands of families and individuals.