The organization that is now known as NAMI was formed in 1979 as The Alliance for the Mentally Ill, by two mothers of sons who had schizophrenia. In the mid-1980’s a group of parents of adult children with schizophrenia created The Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Pennsylvania, an affiliated state organization. Many of those same parents lived in Cumberland County and also founded the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Cumberland County, a locally affiliated organization that was incorporated in 1986.
As the national Alliance evolved into the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Pennsylvania organization became NAMI Pennsylvania (NAMI PA), and our local Alliance became NAMI Cumberland and Perry Counties, PA (NAMI C/P PA). We are governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by our members. From the outset, a principal activity of NAMI PA C/P was to hold regular meetings to provide support to the NAMI community.
Since 2001, NAMI C/P PA has offered several highly acclaimed and evidence-based NAMI signature courses without charge to individuals in our community. These courses, titled Family-to-Family and Peer-to-Peer, provide support and education to both family members and consumers. Other courses that have been offered include Hearts and Minds, which teaches about physical wellness, and Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), which focuses on being prepared for a crisis.