In August of 1984, a statewide meeting of 108 family members convened in Alexandria, Louisiana. The purpose was to bring together families to discuss the need organize a Louisiana state affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). On September 18, 1984, the Louisiana Alliance for the Mentally Ill (L’AMI), was formed. In 1998 the name of L’AMI was changed to NAMI Louisiana in compliance with changes made at the national level of the organization.

NAMI Louisiana is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization made up of family members, peers, behavioral health professionals, and friends. The mission and purpose of NAMI Louisiana shall be to support and advocate at the local, state, and national levels the promotion of the quality of care, rights and interests of those affected by mental illness. NAMI Louisiana is dedicated to eradicating the stigma, myths, and misconceptions of mental illnesses, to improving the quality of life for all who are affected by these illnesses, and to supporting recovery. It supports local affiliates by providing leadership, training, and technical assistance. It is dedicated to serving our communities by empowering peers and families and promoting meaningful systems change.

As mental illness strikes people regardless of age, race, creed, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or many other differences we may have on the surface, we are working to be inclusive of everyone. NAMI Louisiana was recently selected for NAMI National’s Build It Together Program. In 2014 our goals include adding 10 “NAMI On Campus” chapters at colleges across Louisiana (contact us if you are in college and are interested!), delivering four NAMI “Sharing Hope” programs, and involving all NAMI affiliates in Louisiana in National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.