FARMINGTON — The National Alliance on Mental Illness has announced that the process to create a new NAMI Maine program affiliate in the Rumford-Farmington area has begun.

The application was submitted to and approved by the NAMI Maine board, and has been submitted to the national office for its December meeting.

The new affiliate, NAMI Western Mountains, will encompass Oxford and Franklin counties.

The local affiliates’ mission will be to provide awareness, support, advocacy and education to better the lives of individuals, families, friends and caregivers who are affected by mental health challenges in the western Maine mountains communities. By having a local NAMI Maine affiliate, this area will have a greater NAMI presence and be able to pool resources and talents to help improve services and better meet mental health needs.

Currently there are NAMI support groups in Rumford and Farmington, and NAMI education and awareness/prevention programs and classes have been held in this area recently, as well as participation in the annual NAMI Maine Walk fundraiser as team “Foothills for NAMI.”

The only requirement to become a member of the NAMI Western Mountains affiliate is to join NAMI Maine and/or be interested and active in helping improve awareness, education and support for those affected by living or working with a person living with mental health challenges. There are many programs, courses and efforts, including the NAMI Maine Walk, in which anyone can actively participate.

FMI, join: [email protected]