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The families and members of NAMI Central Virginia are here to help! We 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.

In 1980, the late Bertha Emroch and the late Ceal Bloch founded the Richmond Area Schizophrenia Foundation. The organization was later renamed the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Central Virginia, to be an affiliate of both the Virginia Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI-VA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In 1998, all Alliance affiliates were renamed to reflect the name recognition of the national presence of this grassroots organization.

Our Purposes:

Family Support

To provide emotional support, fellowship, and information for parents, relatives, and friends of those with mental illness, as well as for consumers themselves.


To support the rights of persons with mental illness. To work for a comprehensive, nondiscriminatory system of care for those with mental illness.

Public Education

To reduce stigma by providing education about mental illness to the public. To provide mental health education to peers, family members, and caregivers.


To promote the establishment of non-profit, structured, and therapeutic residential facilities for persons with mental illness.


To support research and study relating to the treatment and care of children, adolescents, and adults with chronic mental illness. To inform the membership about new medications.

Life Members

Elizabeth Brockman
Helen Foster, M.D.
Hugh McGuire
Doris Roberts
Raymond Roberts

Past Presidents

Bertha Emroch
Joseph Mason
David McKinney
Camilla Miller
Mary Louise Trusdell
Suzanne Wiltshire
Robert Trusdell
Doris Roberts
Robin Wintzer
Don Ford
Deborah Michael
John Baumann
Kathy Harkey
Joy Rowsey
Mike Francisco
Rick Stuller
Vince Cammarata
Sherwood Atkins


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The families and members of NAMI Your Affiliate are here to help! We offer understanding to anyone concerned about mental illnesses and the treatment of mental illness.