Sky Light Center staff were there for me when I was going through a tough time in my life. Sky Light Center helped me find and keep a job. They helped me put my life back together after I lost my home to Hurricane Sandy.

– Carolyn Varvaro

NAMI

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, a national organization of approximately 230,000 members and NAMI New York State — NAMI NYC Staten Island, Inc. (NAMI Staten Island) — was founded in 1985 by a small group of family members who came together to support each other as they tried to cope with a relative with serious mental illness. As an affiliate of NAMI, we offer support, information and advocacy as we work to ensure dignity, the most effective treatment, and secure non-discriminatory access to quality healthcare, housing, and employment. NAMI is the only family and consumer- based nationwide organization whose mission is to eradicate severe brain disorders and improve the quality of life of persons of all ages who are affected by these disorders.

NAMI Staten Island maintains an office, a resource room, and a "helpline". We provide excellent referrals and keep our members and our community up to date on advances in research, treatment, and rehabilitative services through our library, Newsletter, expert speakers, presentations and events.

Our weekly family support group and peer recovery support group programs offer a casual and relaxed approach to sharing challenges and successes of coping with mental illness.

We provide NAMI's Family-to-Family Education Program, a series of 12 weekly classes structured to help family members understand and support their ill relative while maintaining their own well being. A team of trained volunteer family members who know what it's like to have a loved one with a serious mental illness in the family teach the course.

We educate our community with In Our Own Voice: Living with Mental Illness, NAMI's national program that conveys the message of recovery, hope, and treatment. During the presentation the audience hears from people who are living successfully with disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

All of our services are provided free of charge to our members and to our community.

NAMI Staten Island employs Respite Companions for Saint Vincents Catholic Medical Centers Respite Care Program. This service provides families who care for their loved ones at home with much needed relief. Respite companions are people who have first hand experience with the challenges of mental illness and recovery. Respite Companions act as role model and friend and offer hope for recovery to the person with mental illness as well as to the family.

By pooling our strengths and supporting each other we grow stronger while we influence treatment, shape policies, encourage research, raise professional awareness and provide employment for people living with mental illness.

Support Groups

You are not alone!

Support groups offer a casual and relaxed approach to sharing the challenges and successes of coping with mental illness. No registration or enrollment is required. All groups are offered free of charge.

NAMI Family Support Group

  • For relatives and friends of people living with mental illness
  • Meets every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. except when an information meeting is scheduled
  • 308 Seaview Avenue, Freedom From Fear bldg. side door downstairs

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group

  • For adults living with mental illness
  • Meets every Saturday from 1:30 p.m.—3:00 p.m.
  • 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturday of the month at the YMCA (651 Broadway)
  • 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month at The Reformed Church of Huguenot Park (5475 Amboy Road).

South Beach Psychiatric Center's Parent Support Group

  • For relatives of children and adolescents
  • Meets on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wed. of the month from 7:00 p.m.—8:30 p.m.

South Beach Beach Psychiatric Center, Security Bldg. 2nd floor

  • Facilitator, Lyn Ferrante, Family Advisor Children and Youth Service SBPC and President of NAMI SI

Prayer Meeting

  • Meets on the 3rd Saturday of month from 11a.m.-12 noon
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel Church (10 Austin Place)