Find Help, Find Hope!

The Three Levels of NAMI

Three Levels of the Mental Health Movement:

NAMI, NAMI Wisconsin, and NAMI Affiliates

Who Does What?

The NAMI movement works to raise mental health awareness, provide education and support, and improve the mental health system. These efforts involve three levels of organizational collaboration: NAMI, the NAMI state office, and local NAMI affiliates. As a big NAMI family, our pathways to success are intertwined, and each level has an important role to play. It’s valuable to understand the specific roles that each NAMI entity plays in the collective mental health movement. Continue reading to learn more about each level of NAMI.

NAMI (national level)

Mission: To eradicate mental illnesses and to improve the quality of life of all who are affected by these diseases.

Vision: Building better lives for the millions impacted by mental illness

Primary functions:

  • Provide strategic direction for the entire organization
  • Provide materials and technical assistance to NAMI’s state and affiliate organizations around branding, advocacy issues, programs and organizational capacity.
  • Create evidence-based or best practice education and support programs
  • Establish a public policy platform to educate and influence decision-makers in the highest levels of federal government
  • Operate a HelpLine that provides resources and directs people on how to connect to state and local NAMI organizations
  • Organize an annual national convention for 2,000+ people for educational development, training, and capacity-building
  • Stay abreast of national research practices and opportunities, provide input to NIMH about research priorities and develop and disseminate resources, fact sheets, brochures, and guides that assist families, individuals, and professionals

Address: 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 100, Arlington, VA 22203

Phone: Main: (703) 524-7600; Member Services: (888) 999-NAMI (6264)


NAMI Wisconsin (NAMI state organization)

Mission: The mission of NAMI Wisconsin is to improve the quality of life of people affected by mental illness and to promote recovery

NAMI Wisconsin will accomplish its mission through the following:

  • Promote public education and understanding of mental illnesses.
  • Advocate at all levels of government and throughout the public sector to improve mental health care in Wisconsin.
  • Support affiliates by providing follow-up advice and counsel; educational and training programs and materials; access to financial resources as appropriate; and by offering conferences, seminars, and presentations.
  • Establish and strengthen local affiliates to keep with NAMI’s principles and guidelines.

Address: 4233 W Beltline Hwy, Madison, WI 53711

Phone: (608) 268-6000 / (800) 236-2988; HelpLine: 1-888-486-8264


NAMI Wisconsin affiliates

Primary functions:

  • Offer free peer support, education and outreach programs for individuals with a mental health diagnosis and their families.
  • Engage in community education and advocacy to decrease stigma and increase awareness.
  • Respond to local HelpLine calls and emails from individuals and families seeking help.
  • Advocate at the local, state, and national level to improve policies and funding for the mental health system.
  • Usually staffed by dedicated volunteers.
  • Located in many communities throughout Wisconsin.

Contact information: check here for affiliate contact information.

Become a Member


Get Involved


Get In Touch