NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership-based organization. We provide free of charge educational and support programs and services for families and friends of those with mental illness as well as for those individuals with mental illness themselves throughout Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Our programs and services include Family To Family educational classes, family member support groups, peer support groups, recovery education classes, speaker events, legislative advocacy, community outreach, member meetings, an e-news bulletin, and more. We are able to offer our programs and services free of charge through funds we receive from membership dues, grants, donations, corporate sponsorships, and fundraising.
NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands is an affiliate of both NAMI Massachusetts and NAMI National in Arlington, VA. When you become a member of NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands you automatically also become a member at the state and national level.
We are a grassroots organization founded and formed in July of 1982 under the name AMICUS which stood for Alliance for the Mentally Ill to Create Understanding and Support. In that year Cape Cod residents, Edie and Leo Perlstein called together a small group of family members at the urging of their daughter’s doctor, Alexander Hyde.
Over the last 30+ years, the organization has evolved to our present-day name which is NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands. Our programs and services have since grown and expanded considerably throughout all of Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket to assist those in need of support.
Our mission is to educate, support, and advocate for mental wellness through partnerships with families and community resources in the building of mentally healthy lives throughout Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands envisions being instrumental in identifying the mental health needs of the Cape and Islands’ diverse populations and, in collaboration with community partners, envisioning and implementing a comprehensive system that integrates mental health as an essential component of health care that is accessible to all.
WHO WE SERVE
An estimated 26% of Americans age 18 and older struggle with a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Also, within the total population range of age 18 and older for all Americans, 6% (or 1 in 17) struggle with a more serious mental illness (National Institute of Mental Health -NIMH).
With an estimated year-round population of 230,000 for Cape Cod, 15,000 for Martha’s Vineyard, and 10,000 for Nantucket, or a total of about 250,000 (not including the summer population), approximately 15,000 people struggle with a diagnosable mental illness on Cape Cod and The Islands. Some of the common types of diagnosable mental illnesses include Clinical Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
If two family members of friends are impacted by the individual with a mental illness, an additional 30,000 people on the Cape and Islands are also impacted by the mental illness.