The first NAMI programed offered in Payson was the NAMI Family-to-Family Class in 2014, after Patty Wisner attended a class in Scottsdale and found it so beneficial she was determined to bring the program to the Payson area. She and Co-trainer, Linda Mathiesen, completed the NAMI Family-to-Family Teacher Training in Mesa and became qualified to teach the class in Payson.
The second NAMI Family-to-Family class was held in August of 2015 at Gila Community College. This second class had several participants who wished to increase NAMI’s presence and programs in Rim Country. This dedicated group met regularly to work on becoming a 501(c)3 organization and attended trainings to bring NAMI Family Support Group and NAMI Basics to the area. On February 8, 2016, the NAMI Payson Team voted to have a Board lead the effort. Patti Meitzler was voted Board President, Colleen Michael, Secretary, Ron Frese, Treasurer, and Patty Wisner, Program Director.
NAMI Payson was recognized as an incorporated non-profit organization by the Arizona Corporation Commission on June 21, 2016, and received federal recognition of 501(c)3 status by the IRS on February 28, 2017. On August 31, 2017, NAMI Payson became an official affiliate of NAMI, and on April 30, 2018, NAMI’s Board of Directors voted to enter into a re-affiliation agreement with NAMI Payson. Mary Giliberti, NAMI’s CEO, wrote that, “This action puts NAMI Payson in the fore of our collective pursuit of organizational excellence.”
Today, NAMI Payson has many programs in the community, including classes, support groups and presentations. We believe in recovering together. These words are so powerful and truly at the heart of what we do. As we learn about mental illness, it becomes apparent that so many of our community’s greatest social challenges often have ties to mental illness – substance abuse, incarceration, hospitalization, self-harm, suicide, family dysfunction, lost potential, and the list goes on. NAMI Payson believes that by providing supports that help those in our community affected with mental illness become healthier, we improve the health of our community. It’s hard work, but together we are making a difference in the lives of individuals and our community. We hope you’ll join us.