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Mission & Vision


The families and members of NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties offer understanding to anyone concerned about mental illnesses and the treatment of mental illness.

Mental illnesses are brain disorders that are biologically based medical problems. Untreated, they can cause severe disturbances in thinking, feeling, and relating. This results in substantially diminished capacity for dealing with the ordinary demands of life. Mental illness can affect persons of any age and occur in any family. They are not caused by bad parenting and not evidence of weakness of character.


It was 1982 when our group began working to meet the needs of families with a loved one living with mental illness in Sarasota County. In 1984, we incorporated.  Our organization evolved over the years with various name changes, and we eventually joined NAMI, becoming NAMI Sarasota County in 1997.

In 2018 all NAMI Affiliates went through re-affiliation with NAMI National. We achieved re-affiliation in good standing. In 2019 NAMI Sarasota County began the process of merging with NAMI Manatee. NAMI National approved the merger in early 2020. NAMI Sarasota County is now NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties, serving individuals and families throughout out two-counties.


NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties will improve the lives of individuals with mental illness, as well as the lives of their families and caregivers, through support, education, awareness, and advocacy.


NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties works to

  • Support families in Sarasota and Manatee Counties who have a loved one living with mental illness.
  • Advocate at the county, state, and national levels for non-discriminatory access to quality healthcare, housing, education, and employment for people with mental illness.
  • Educate the public about mental illness.
  • Work to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.
  • Advocate for increased funding for research into the causes and treatment of mental illness.


Sarasota and Manatee Counties are communities in which people with mental illness can recover and lead productive lives free from stigma.

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