Starting a NAMI Affiliate


What is an Affiliate:

NAMI is made up of over 600 local affiliates, 49 state organizations, and the national organization. In Indiana there are 16 local affiliates serving cities and counties around the state. As the state organization, NAMI Indiana supports and develops local affiliates to bring more NAMI programming to local communities. 

NAMI Affiliates are created and run by groups of individuals looking to help their neighbors impacted by mental illness. NAMI Affiliates provide support groups, education classes, spread awareness about mental illnesses, and work with law enforcement and mental health providers to change the response to mental health emergencies. 

How NAMI Indiana Helps:

NAMI Indiana works with and provides technical assistance to groups looking to join the alliance. Our state office will help walk your group through the affiliation process. Once your group is officially a NAMI Affiliate, NAMI Indiana continues to provide support through technical assistance, financial management, volunteer training, coalition building, and program growth.

Getting Started

The first step to forming an affiliate is filling out NAMI national's New Affiliate Interest Form located on the website. Once this form is completed it is received by the NAMI national office and forwarded to our NAMI Indiana office. NAMI Indiana staff will contact the form applicant to discuss the  eight phase affiliation process. The affiliation process can take 12-18 months to complete, depending on available volunteers.  The basic requirements to start a new NAMI Affiliate include:

If you'd like to speak to a person and discuss what affiliation looks like before filling out the New Affiliate Form contact Linda Williams with questions at

Program Leadership

Not Ready for Affiliation but Still Want to Help?

Starting an affiliate is a commitment that can help change a community. Even if you don't have a NAMI Affiliate in your area, it is still possible to start a NAMI support group or a NAMI education class as a program leader.  Starting a NAMI program requires three people to successfully lead it. Volunteer program leaders are provided with free training and asked to make a commitment of providing the program for one or two years. Give us a call or email because there might be one or two program leaders in your area who are already trained to provide a group or class or others interested in starting one and are looking for additional volunteers.

You can learn more about volunteer opportunities by visiting our volunteer page. You may also call or email Linda Williams to learn more about the process of becoming a program leader or starting a New Affiliate: / 317-925-9399