NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Maine has a new affiliate, NAMI Western Mountains, ME. It will serve Oxford and Franklin counties. NAMI’s affiliates are grassroots groups of volunteers who embrace the mission of NAMI to raise awareness, provide support, advocacy and education through NAMI’s many programs and events for individuals, families and professionals whose lives are affected by mental illness.

The mission of NAMI Western Mountains, ME is to provide support groups, education on mental illness to individuals, families and the communities, do local outreach and support an annual NAMI Maine walk team to help raise funds. (NAMI’s programs are free – with an occasional $5 fee for lunch – but funds are needed for some outreach (i.e. speakers’ fees, advertising and food). Other responsibilities include grassroots advocacy on mental health issues and work with other community groups (i.e. Healthy Communities) to further the NAMI agenda and to grow NAMI’s presence to help build communities of hope. The new affiliate will work to reduce stigma and to bring NAMI’s resource information and programs to the local area to help address its needs relative to mental health challenges.

Right now, NAMI Western Mountains, ME offers two support groups: a family group in Farmington and a family and peer support group in Rumford. It is hoped to have support groups for peers, youth and veterans, as well as more family groups. Additionally, education courses are offered including NAMI’s Family to Family education course which has been taught in Farmington, Rumford and Dixfield in 2014 and 2015. This course is being planned for the Oxford Hills area in 2016. Inspiring Minds for individuals with mental health challenges was presented in Rumford last fall. Mental Health First Aid (Adult or Youth classes) have been held in Mexico, Farmington and South Paris; three more are being scheduled for this spring. CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) for law enforcement and first responders will be held in Rumford in April. A Suicide Awareness and Prevention program has been presented in Dixfield. In addition, NAMI FaithNet’s program “Bridges of Hope” is being presented in Andover on Feb. 18 (snow date of March 3).

NAMI is the nation’s leading voice on mental illness and the largest non-profit mental health organization dedicated to making lives better for millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

For information about any or all NAMI programs offered in Maine, you may visit the NAMI Maine website: or call NAMI Maine at 1-800-464-5767.


Comments are no longer available on this story