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History

NAMI-GC FoundersThe Alliance for the Mentally Ill (AMI) of Greater Chicago was first formed in February of 1979, by four families coping with their adult children’s serious mental illnesses. These families incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, developed a support group and invited others to join them. In September of 1979, Chicago AMI members participated in the organizational meeting which chartered the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) — thus changing our name to NAMI Chicago.

In 1980, NAMI Chicago developed a residential housing program, 7720 Inc., which became an independent agency in 1983. In 1986, NAMI Chicago developed the Better Living Apartments Program, a case-managed assistance program for individuals with serious mental illness capable of living independently within the community. In 1995, that program was passed to 7720, Inc. for their continued expansion of the program. Since then, NAMI Chicago has concentrated on providing information, referrals, support, education, advocacy and hope.

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