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Frequently Asked Questions

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I’m interested in a support group or an educational program. Where can I find more information?

Go to the Find Help Near You section of this website to locate the program overview and contact information for your local affiliate.

There's no NAMI affiliate in my county. What do I do?

Although we are working to expand, not all Wisconsin counties have active NAMI affiliates at this point in time. However, if there is a nearby affiliate that you can access, you are welcome to attend their programs and events – even if you are not a resident of the county(ies) they cover. If a nearby affiliate is not accessible (or you are not sure which affiliate to call), contact NAMI Wisconsin.

Can NAMI help during a crisis situation?

NAMI staff and volunteers are not trained to provide crisis services. In a crisis situation, you should call your county’s mental health crisis hotline. They can help you process the situation, provide appropriate referrals and possibly send a crisis worker. You can find their contact information through our Find Help Near You page with county map that connects you with county resources. If you are not in a crisis situation but have questions about what to expect if you need to call the crisis line in the future, we are happy to discuss this with you!

Does NAMI provide mental health treatment?

No, NAMI does not provide mental health treatment (therapy, etc.). However, we can help you locate services in your community!

Does NAMI provide legal advice or assistance?

NAMI cannot provide legal assistance. We cannot recommend specific lawyers/law firms. However, we can provide informational materials about discrimination laws and the rights of people with mental illness. We may also refer you to one of the following agencies:

Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW), Wisconsin’s Patient Protection and Advocacy agency:

You should call Disability Rights Wisconsin if your situation relates to the following:

  • Abuse, neglect and patient rights in various settings: schools, residential care, correctional institutions, inpatient facilities 
  • Inappropriate institutionalization, inadequate discharge planning
  • Discrimination in employment or housing 
  • Access to long-term care
Counties in Blue are Served by Legal Action of WI

Legal Action of Wisconsin, free legal services for low-income people in Wisconsin’s southern counties (see map)

  • Legal Action only serves people with civil (not criminal) legal problems
  • For more information and/or to apply for assistance, visit

Wisconsin Judicare Inc., free legal services for low-income people in Wisconsin’s northern counties and federally recognized tribes (see map)

  • With some exceptions for members of Wisconsin’s tribes, Judicare only serves people with civil (not criminal) legal issues
  • For more information and/or to apply for assistance, visit

Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, free legal services for low-income residents of Milwaukee County with civil legal issues

For more information, visit

ABC for Health, public interest law firm connecting WI families to health care, visit

ABC for Health may be able to help with the following issues:

  • Lost or about to lose health coverage
  • Determining eligibility for health benefits or which health coverage is right for you
  • Claims denials or disputes with a private health insurer
  • Notices from BadgerCare saying it won’t cover a service
  • Questions about having both BadgerCare and private insurance, using your benefits, how health care reform (“Obamacare”) will affect your coverage

Does NAMI provide financial assistance?

NAMI does not provide loans or grants to individuals (with the exception of scholarships to attend our annual conference). However, we may be able to connect you with a non-profit that provides this type of assistance or explain helpful social services that may lessen financial stress.

Can NAMI provide a personal advocate to accompany me or help me mediate doctor’s appointments, court hearings, etc.?

NAMI does not typically provide this type of ongoing, individualized advocacy. However, NAMI Waukesha does have a Court Support and Advocacy Program that offers support and advocacy for families and consumers during civil commitment cases. Although other NAMI affiliates do not typically provide this type of assistance, we may be able to provide helpful guidance on navigating your situation and/or recommend other community supports.

Can NAMI help me with a social security disability application or appeals process?

No. Independent Living Centers are excellent resources for this type of support. Visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services page for help on this subject.

Can NAMI help me locate mental health services in my community?

Yes. Your local affiliate is the best place to start for this type of information. However, most of our affiliates are entirely volunteer-run, so response times may vary. If you do not get a timely response from your local affiliate, please call NAMI Wisconsin at (608)268-6000.

I need guidance on how to best help a loved one who lives with mental illness. Can NAMI help?

Yes. NAMI affiliates can provide advice and resources on how to best support someone living with mental health challenges. Our Family-to-Family course and Family Support Groups are excellent ongoing sources of education and support.

Go to the I Need Help section of this website for The Family and Consumer Resource Guide, which also provides useful information on this subject.

Can NAMI help if I’m not sure exactly what I need or where to turn?

Of course! These FAQs are meant to give you a better idea of our areas of expertise and capacity. However, you are always welcome to call NAMI Wisconsin at (608) 268-6000 when you are not sure exactly what your question is, who can help or where to turn. You are not alone!

Go to the I Need Help section of this website for the Family and Consumer Resource Guide. This guide provides basic information about accessing and paying for care, treatment options, crisis situations, the civil commitment process, recovery planning tools, maintaining healthy relationships and self-advocacy in the workplace