NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Central Iowa

National Alliance on Mental Illness Central Iowa logo


Mission: NAMI Iowa serves as a catalyst around advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all Iowans affected by mental illness can lead better lives.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Iowa (NAMI Central) was founded with a simple goal: to inspire better lives for Central Iowans affected by mental illness. We are hard at work to achieve this goal through support programs, educational outreach, and advocacy in Poweshiek and 13 other central Iowa counties.

Support. Educate. Advocate.

We SUPPORT people with mental illnesses, their families and their friends.

NAMI Central’s support programs provide individuals and those by their sides the tools and resources to cope with mental illness. Through meetings, support groups, courses and referrals, we are available to help Central Iowans, whatever their situation or need.

We EDUCATE communities about mental health issues.

A stigma surrounds mental illnesses, and we have set out to replace what people perceive about mental illness with the facts and real unique experiences of those who live and cope with mental illness. And we’re doing this through educational programs. From informative public meetings to displays and communication pieces, to partnership with local leaders, NAMI Central educates members of communities about mental health issues so they can better understand, empathize and support those with mental illnesses.

We ADVOCATE to improve the conditions for and on behalf of those affected by mental illness.

Every individual has a unique story to share, to inspire, to elicit change. But often individual stories aren’t heard. As advocates for those affected by mental illness, NAMI Central takes these stories and issues and ensures they are heard — and heard by people who can help make change.

We work with the state and national alliances, NAMI Iowa and NAMI National, to bring mental health issues to the attention of local, state and national governments. We support legislation that benefits the lives of people with mental illness and spread awareness of that legislation to the larger community. We deliver insights and techniques to families and mental health service providers to ensure the best methods are known and in practice.

Location:  Office Headquarters:  Ames, IA (50 miles from Grinnell College)


  • Newsletter Editor / Content development
  • NAMIWalks (fundraiser, volunteer, marketing, etc.)
  • Public presenting: NAMI Ending the Silence and NAMI In Our Own Voice
  • Social Media content creation / management
  • Website management
  • NAMI on Campus:  students ready to spread awareness & end stigma about mental health conditions
  • Outreach, thank you’s to members, donors, volunteers
  • Board Members & Committee Volunteers
  • Support Group Facilitators:  NAMI Connections & NAMI Family Support Group
  • Course Leaders:  NAMI Peer-to-Peer & NAMI Family-to-Family
  • Brand Ambassador: distribute flyers, brochures, promotional materials across Grinnell and Poweshiek county
  • Advocacy at NAMI Day on the Hill



  • One-time events: yes
  • Ongoing: yes


When is service needed:  Year-round.  Also, we will be hosting NAMIWalks in the various counties we serve (Jasper, Poweshiek, Greene, Hardin, Story, Marshall, Hamilton, Boone, Hancock, Webster, Wright, Madison, Warren, Franklin).  In 2022, on September 24 various communities will host a mini walk to bring education and awareness about NAMI Central Iowa services and supports. In 2023 we will host this walk the last weekend in April. This is one of our largest fundraising events.

Number of hours: Flexible hours, as much or little as is possible for the volunteer


  • In-person: yes
  • Hybrid in-person/virtual possible: yes
  • Fully virtual possible: yes


Equipment/logistics needed: This depends on the interest of the volunteer and how they choose to volunteer.


Training supplied: Depending on the area of interest, we would complete an orientation / training.


How to apply: Application/ contact form on website:

Contact information:  515-292-9400


Operation information: Every volunteer leading a support group, an educational course or providing public presentations has lived-experience with mental illness.  The individual either has a mental health condition and/or their family member has a mental health condition.  Because of this structure, our volunteers have much empathy for those reaching out for help and hope.

Address: NAMI Central Iowa, 424 5th Street, Ames, IA 50010

If you are with this organization and need to update your listing, please access our update form on this page: For Community Partners