About NAMI Greater Orlando
The National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Orlando (NAMIGO) is Central Florida’s leading provider of free educational programs, support services and advocacy efforts for people living with mental illness as well as their family, friends, caregivers and mental health services providers. Founded in 1986, we serve Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.
As a non-profit organization, we work in the community to make the stigma of mental illness a relic of history. We are dedicated to helping improve the quality of life for individuals affected by these diseases. We partner with local advocates, mental health providers and business leaders to bring the conversations top-of-mind, and affect change.
- 1 in 5 adults | 43.8 million adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in a given year.
- 10 million adults | Nearly 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. live with a serious mental illness.
- 50% | One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; 75% by the age of 24.
(Statistics Source: NAMI.org)
Our Mission | NAMI Greater Orlando is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals and supporting families affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy.
Our Vision | Individuals living with mental illness can recover, and lead productive and meaningful lives.
NAMI: The Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Founded in 1979, it includes affiliates in every state and more than 1,100 local communities who join together to fulfil the NAMI mission through support, advocacy, education and research. NAMI Greater Orlando is one of many affiliates under NAMI Florida, the state organization.
The Power of People
We are a grassroots community network of support for anyone affected by mental illness. We are a group of caring individuals who are understanding, compassionate, helpful, resourceful and dedicated. We work to ensure no one in Central Florida who is living with mental illness is alone in their journey to recovery and mental health wellness. Our services are free for all ages, genders, races, orientations, religions and income levels.
NAMIGO emphasizes a mental wellness support system that is free of judgment and stigma. We see each individual person – not their illness. We envision a world void of negative connotations with mental illness, focused on mental wellness for everyone, and recognizing that mental health issues touch the lives of people in our community every day. We are working to create a world where there is no stigma about seeking support for mental health conditions or challenges.
Together, We Move Forward
NAMIGO’s free educational programs and support groups are designed to empower and educate. They are led by peers – people who have been personally affected by mental illness themselves or through helping a loved one. This lived experience gives them a unique understanding that every person’s journey toward wellness is as individual as they are. Through these programs, people connect with each other, learn from the experiences of others, share coping strategies and offer encouragement and understanding.
Partners for a Healthy Community
NAMIGO continues to expand our programs in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to serve more people with our educational programs and support groups. This includes the addition of location options for existing programs as well as the addition of new programs. We are developing culturally-conscious programs for the Latino, LGBTQ+ and citizens relocated to Central Florida from Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria.
We work with professional mental health providers, businesses and service organizations to reach more people in the Central Florida community, spotlighting mental health issues and sharing the many ways people can get help and support. Alongside our educational programs, support groups and services, we provide information at local events and health fairs. We provide mental health information to our partners to share with their clients, patients and team members. We offer mental health presentations to our partners as a service and a part of their corporate social responsibility programs.
NAMIGO advocates for legislation and public policy to ensure that families and individuals have access to the services and support they need to live well. We regularly meet with local, state and national-level elected officials, making our collective voice heard by policymakers. We also conduct training to help supporters have the ability to share their stories in an impactful manner. We advocate for:
- A comprehensive system of individualized services and support for recovering people of all ages
- Adequate funding to promote treatment and rehabilitation, including parity under health care insurance
- Equal access to modern medications
- Housing and employment
NAMI Greater Orlando’s free education programs and presentations are designed to empower, inform and support all individuals affected by mental illness, their families, caregivers and the community. They are taught by trained peer volunteers who possess lived experience. They serve over 2,000 individuals every year.
- Family-to-Family | 12-week course for caregivers and family of adult loved ones living with mental illness.
- Peer-to-Peer | 10-week course for adults living with mental illness that focuses upon mental wellness and recovery.
- Basics | 6-week course for parents and caregivers of minor children who have either been diagnosed with a mental health condition or who are experiencing symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed.
- Provider Education | 5-week course for public agency line staff who work directly with people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness.
- NAMIGO Talks | Educational speaker series that focuses upon important mental health issues.
- Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Youth Training | 8-hour class designed for police officers and mental health professionals.
- Mental Health Seminars | Recent topics have included trauma, specific to the Pulse attack and Hurricane Maria, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Ending the Silence | 50-minute mental health, suicide prevention and anti-stigma presentation that reaches over 4,000 middle and high school students each year.
- Ending the Silence for Families | mental health presentation tailored to parents and caregivers, focused on how to talk with youth about mental health issues and how to work with school staff.
- Ending the Silence for Staff | Mental health presentation tailored to teachers and staff, focused on how to talk with youth about mental health issues and how to work with students and family members.
- Friends in the Lobby | information on community resources and support to families in a time of crisis, when a family member has been hospitalized due to a mental health condition. A partnership with Aspire Health Partners’ children’s crisis unit, sponsored by Magellan Complete Care Florida and NAMIGO.
More information on educational programs, click here.
In these 90-minute confidential meetings for adults, participants connect with each other, learn from each other’s experiences, share coping strategies and offer encouragement and understanding. They are peer-led by a trained volunteer who is living in recovery and are available in English and Spanish.
Connection Recovery Support Groups | for adults living with mental illness
NAMI Family Support Groups | for family members, caregivers or friends of people living with a mental illness
Getting the News Out
The Office of the Public Defender, 9th Judicial Circuit Orange and Osceola County helps NAMIGO reach more people in the community by taping some of our educational sessions and events, and posting them for public education. Programs include Posttraumatic Stress Disorder by NAMIGO Board Member Nancy Rosado and Psychotherapy Therapeutic Approaches and Treatments by Josh Magro, LMHC. Programs are available at www.myfloridapd.com.
At our community activities, individuals living with a mental health condition socialize with others who are experiencing the same life issues in a fun and safe environment. Developed by our Peer Council, they include a writing group, an anime and gaming group, bowling, lunch and a movie, crafts and volunteering at local non-profits.
- NAMIWalks | Occurring annually on the last Saturday in April, NAMIWalks inspires and connects individuals committed to mental health issues. It also raises critical funds for our ongoing efforts. On April 28, 2018, over 1,000 walkers raised over $169,000.
- Mental Illness Awareness Week | NAMIGO hosts events throughout Central Florida that spotlighted mental health issues, including the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye turning green in recognition of the event. Nearly 1,000 individuals participate in the week’s events. It is October 7-13, 2018.
- This Is My Brave Show Orlando | NAMIGO hosted Orlando’s first This Is My Brave Show on January 28, 2018 at the Orlando Museum of Art. Through the stories and experiences of individuals living successful, full lives despite mental illness, the show provided a sense of community and hope, and encourages others to share their stories. Over 250 attendees of the sold-out show experienced the personal stories of 13 local individuals shared through song, essay and poetry. The art exhibit featured works of 13 local artists who live with a mental health diagnosis and creatively express themselves through various mediums of art.
Support and Resources
Recovery, resiliency and support are essential to improving the wellness and quality of life of all persons affected by mental illness. NAMIGO provides educational programs, support services and resources to help individuals affected by mental health conditions.
Click here to explore NAMIGO’s education programs and support groups.
Click here for mental health-related resources including helplines, agencies and Central Florida services.
Learn about the different types of mental health professionals, therapies, treatment options and medications at nami.org.
Make a difference in the Central Florida community and in the lives of others! Here are many ways you can add your voice to the conversations on mental health.
Your financial support funds NAMIGO’s programs that make a difference in the lives of thousands of individuals in Central Florida every year.
Serving the Orlando community since 1986
A 501c(3) charitable organization, we are primarily funded by donations, bequests and memorials that are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Visit our community profile on the Central Florida Foundation’s website, www.cffound.org.
Details | 407.253.1900 | firstname.lastname@example.org