NAMI (National Alliance on Mental illness) Returns to Santa Maria

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental illness) Returns to Santa Maria

NAMI, a national organization providing education, support and advocacy for individuals and families impacted by mental health conditions, will return to the Santa Maria area following a several year absence. “We are pleased to announce the formation of a countywide NAMI affiliate to be known as “NAMI Santa Barbara County” which will bring critically needed NAMI programs and services back to northern Santa Barbara County” said George Kaufmann, President of the local NAMI affiliate, currently known as NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County.  This initiative resulted when a group of North County Families, who’d had to travel long distances to participate in NAMI programs, petitioned the Santa Barbara affiliate to expand its services to their area.  

            FREE Education Class for Family Caregivers to be Inaugural Santa Maria Program

The first North County NAMI program will be NAMI’s Family to Family class which will begin Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at the Marian Regional Medical Center. This evidence based class, shown to help families of people living with mental health conditions to better cope with the impact of mental illness in their loved ones, is taught by specially trained and certified teachers who themselves have close relatives living with serious mental health disorders. Course topics include: overview of specific mental disorders and their treatment, how to cope more effectively with the impact of having a family member living with a mental health disorder, how to better support recovery of their relative, and how to take care of themselves.   

After completing the class, one past participant shared: “I’m not alone in this challenge. I’m now able to separate the illness and symptoms from the person.”  Another commented: “my AHA! moment occurred during the second class, when I learned that mental illness is no one’s fault. It is ok to talk about mental health, we must break the silence.”

This multi-week class is free of charge to all participants but requires advance registration. To obtain more information or to begin the registration process, please contact Ramona Winner, Mental Wellness Center Family Advocate, at 805-884-8440 ext. 3206 or

About NAMI

NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County began as an affiliate of NAMI California and National Alliance on Mental Illness.  The national organization was founded in 1979 beginning with a grass roots uniting of families across the nation who were dealing with severely ill family members and with insufficient public services for or understanding of mental illness.


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