Where or How do I Find Help?

I/my friend/family member am newly diagnosed with a mental illness. Where do I go for support?

NAMI offers an array of education, training programs, and services for consumers, family members, providers, and the general public. These programs draw on the experiences of mental health consumers and family members who have learned to live well with their illness and are eager to help others, as well as the expertise of mental health professionals and educators.

Learn more about NAMI of Erie County’s programs.


Where can I find a support group in my area?

NAMI offers education programs and support groups that assist individuals with mental illness through the recovery process. NAMI of Erie County hosts both a support group for individuals with mental illness and a support group for family members, friends, and caregivers of someone with mental illness. The sessions for individuals with mental illness are held on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. The sessions for families, loved ones, and caretakers are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. Both sessions are held at the NAMI agency located in the Professional Building at 1611 Peach Street, Suite 218.


Where do I find information on substance abuse or dual diagnosis treatment?

It is estimated that roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental illness are affected by substance abuse. Dual diagnosis services are treatments for people who suffer from co-occurring disorders – mental illness and substance abuse. When looking for services, be sure to inquire if they provide treatment for dual diagnosis – co-occurring disorders – of mental illness and substance abuse. It’s very important to treat both disorders at the same time.

For more information, view NAMI’s web section on Dual Diagnosis. Or, you may contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) online, or by calling SAMHSA’s Health Information Network (SHIN) at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727).


Where can I find information about what my insurance/Medicaid/Social Security benefits will cover?

Questions about insurance coverage should be directed to your provider or to your State Insurance Department.


I cannot afford my medication/doctor’s fees. Where can I go for financial assistance?

Unfortunately NAMI cannot provide direct financial assistance. As a nonprofit organization, NAMI’s work focuses on support, education, advocacy, and research.

However, some pharmaceutical companies offer prescription assistance programs for low-income individuals and families. These programs typically require a doctor’s consent and proof of financial status. They may also require that you have either no health insurance or no prescription drug benefit through your health insurance.