What We Do

What We Do

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Facts about Mental Illness and Recovery

  1. Mental illnesses are serious medical illnesses. They cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to a person’s “character” or intelligence. Mental illness falls along a continuum of severity. Even though mental illness is widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion-about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 Americans-who live with a serious mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that One in four adults-approximately 57.7 million Americans-experience a mental health disorder in a given year

  2. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that 10 percent of children and adolescents in the United States suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day-to-day lives at home, in school and with peers.

  3. The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.

  4. Mental illness usually strike individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable.

  5. Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.

  6. The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.

  7. With appropriate effective medication and a wide range of services tailored to their needs, most people who live with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and find a satisfying measure of achievement and independence. A key concept is to develop expertise in developing strategies to manage the illness process.

  8. Early identification and treatment is of vital importance; By ensuring access to the treatment and recovery supports that are proven effective, recovery is accelerated and the further harm related to the course of illness is minimized.

  9. Stigma erodes confidence that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions. We have allowed stigma and a now unwarranted sense of hopelessness to erect attitudinal, structural and financial barriers to effective treatment and recovery. It is time to take these barriers down.

More information available at:

General Meetings and Events

All are welcome to attend the NAMI SLOCO General Meetings, held at 6:45pm the fourth Tuesday of every month at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in San Luis Obispo.  


NAMI SLOCO offers a wide range of books and resources at the Parents Helping Parents Resource Center Library, located at the Tri-Counties Regional Center Offices. 

Local Resources

We include an extensive list of local resources, educational programs, and hotlines on the back page of our newsletter. See the most recent information here.

My family member is in jail - what do I do? 
LPS Conservatorship Information


NAMI SLOCO runs a number of education programs.  Some NAMI originated programs are run by or with the assistance of Transitions-Mental Health Association in San Luis Obispo. The following are links to those signature courses of NAMI national that are active in San Luis Obispo.

Family to Family Education program

A free education program providing up-to-date information on mental illnesses, their causes, and treatments available, as well as help and coping tools for the caregiver or loved one.

Parents and Teachers as Allies

A 90-minutes on-site presentation empowering teachers and school personnel to better understand and address the mental health needs of their students. 

Ending the Silence

Ending The Silence is an award-winning, on-site school presentation designed to provide teens and young adults the opportunity to learn about the signs of mental illness and ways to seek help. 

NAMI Basics Class

A free education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses, taught by teachers who have lived experience of what you are going through.

Peer to Peer Education 

A free experiential learning program for people with any serious mental illness who are interested in establishing and maintaining their wellness and recovery.

In our own voice

In Our Own Voice is a free presentation that can be delivered in a 40, 60, or 90-minute session. Presenters provide a personal perspective on their lived experiences with a mental health condition.  


NAMI San Luis Obispo County (NAMI SLOCO) is a dues paying, membership based, (501 C3) charitable,
non-profit, education, support and advocacy organization.