NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI has a rich history of advocacy for people living with mental health conditions and their families. NAMI Finger Lakes has been caring for local families for 35 years. Your membership and support of NAMI locally and nationally makes this work, possible because adding your voice makes us stronger together.

Advocacy is an important part of our work in our homes, in our communities, and beyond.

To learn more about our current local initiative to host conversations regarding Mental Health Crisis Response, visit our Mental Health Crisis Response link here. You may also visit the NAMI Finger Lakes You Tube Channel for Family Forum events that feature presentations and conversations on issues of concern to the mental health community.

Locally, NAMI members

  • Provide experienced support through our HELPLine (607-273-2462)
  • Serve on local community boards that impact mental health services
  • Teach NAMI programs to educate families and community members about mental health and mental illness
  • Provide support for family members and friends of people experiencing mental health conditions that impact their lives and the lives of those around them
  • Connect with families at Cayuga Medical Center Behavioral Unit to support and educate regarding the experience their loved one may be having that brought them there
  • Provide presentations and educational events regarding mental health services and initiatives
  • Share opportunities to support local initiatives on our website, Facebook page, and newsletter and local media
  • Provide a free lending library of curated books relating to mental health and mental illness
  • Work to end the stigma associated with mental illness

State-wide and Nationally

  • Provide opportunities to participate in state-wide initiatives
  • Educate and inform on legislation and policies that impact the lives of people living with mental illness and their families
  • Encourage voting
  • Educate voters and candidates on the mental health issues
  • Provide Help Lines for anyone seeking information and/or support regarding mental health
    • The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
    • NAMI NYS HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday  (518)-248-7634
  • Work to end the stigma associated with mental illness
  • Provide data and information for decision-makers
  • Develop education programs that teach everyone important information regarding living with mental illness, mental health initiatives, advocacy, communication, diagnoses, community services, coping skills, and so much more

Learn About Current Initiatives Important to the NAMI Community

  • Report of Recommendations on Reimagining Public Safety in Tompkins County – NAMI Finger Lakes advocates for families and their loved ones locally regarding mental health crisis response and building a system that supports a mental health response to mental health crisis. 
  • Daniel’s Law New York State Bill prepared by the Rochester contingent of the NYS Legislature
  • HALT Legislation- (Passed and signed by Governor Cuomo in Spring 2021)
  • Nicole’s Law Currently in committee, this bill would create a red-flag system to ensure individuals admittecd to hospitals following a self-inflicted, life-threatening injury would receive enhanced person-centered treatment, their families are provided with resources on how to care for this vulnerable population, an appropriate discharge plan including an immediate connection to community services, with the person receiving priority access to community services and follow up with individual following discharge. The bill would also address the practices of how psychiatric clinical trials handle perspective participants disqualified because of a a previous suicide attempt within the calendar year.
  • 988 System Implementation- In 2020, the Federal Communications Commission and Congress acted to make 988 the nationwide three-digit number for mental health crises and suicide prevention, operating through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which has a nationwide network of call centers. By July 2022, all
    telecommunications companies will be required to route 988 calls to the Lifeline. States must act rapidly to develop a 988 crisis service infrastructure, including passing legislation to implement fees to fund crisis call centers and response capacity, as well as consider appropriations of general funds to support the crisis system. To do this, NAMI strongly supports the “Model Bill for Core State Behavioral Health Crisis Services Systems,” which would enable a state, if the legislation is enacted, to comply with the federal National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 (S. 2661) and build needed infrastructure to effectively respond to mental health crises. Visit the link for more information.
  • Development of Crisis Stabilization Centers in communities that address mental health crisis with a mental health response, rather than a response by law enforcement that implies criminality in mental illness.

For NYS and National advocacy information, visit:  and

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