Advocacy and Education for Mental Health and Illness in Bonner and Boundary Counties
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What is NAMI?

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

  • To Provide Support, Education And Advocacy For People With Mental Illness, Family Members And Friends.
  • To Provide A Network Of Support For Consumers, Family Members, And Friends In Times Of Crisis And On An On-Going Basis.
  • To Elevate The Level Of Sensitivity And Knowledge Of Mental Illness Among Health Care Professionals, Law Enforcement Agencies And The Public.
  • To Promote Better Quality Of Care For Consumers, To Promote The Rights And Interests Of Consumers; And To Advocate Policies At The Local, State, And National Levels To Accomplish These Objectives.

Our goal at NAMI Idaho is to improve the quality of life for all those affected by mental illness through support, education, advocacy and research across the state. We assist our affiliates with educational programs, policy development, and training.

NAMI started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 and has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an alliance of more than 600 local Affiliates and 48 State Organizations who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

Did You Know?

About Us

NAMI Far North was organized to serve those impacted by mental illness in Bonner and Boundary Counties of Idaho – the northernmost counties in the state.  We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons living with mental illness and their families and friends.

A Brief History

NAMI Far North was organized in Sandpoint, Idaho in February 2007 by five individuals who believed a local affiliate was needed in this community. Our board members, all of whom are individuals whose lives have been affected by mental illness, are committed to maintaining a viable and active NAMI affiliate. We were asked by NAMI Idaho to serve both Bonner and Boundary counties.

We are an officially chartered NAMI affiliate that was incorporated as an Idaho Non-Profit Corporation on May 29, 2007 and received our charter at the NAMI National Convention in Seattle, June of 2012. Our Bylaws were approved by our members on August 15, 2007. We were granted our formal tax exempt status by the IRS under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code on December 19, 2007. And we re-affiliated in 2019.

NAMI Far North programs are an important means of providing support and education locally for persons living with mental interests and their families.

Strategic Plan

Read our strategic plan here:

NAMI FN Strategic Plan 2021.docx

Whether you are a current or prospective supporter, a community member, or a person affected by mental health conditions, reading the strategic plan can help you become more informed and engaged in NAMI Far North’s efforts to improve mental health awareness.

NAMI Far North Board of Directors:

  • Dr. Dawn Mehra, President
  • Victor Vosen, Secretary
  • Catherine Perusse PHD, Treasurer
  • Jan Burt, Consumer Advocate
  • Kim Kempton
  • Jessica Rachels
  • Patrick Rachels
  • Dr. Nancy Schmidt
  • Cindy Hall
  • Loretta Aranda

Board member highlight

Hi, I’m Victor Vosen. I discovered National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) after getting sick in 1997 while attending Macalester College in Twin Cities, Minnesota. It was during the Ides of March and I was 21 years old. When I became ill I lost everything. After 13 years I eventually graduated with a Bachelors of Art in Geology and Math from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

I’m kinda of a natural scientist up here in the Panhandle with my dog Darwin and other pets. I got more involved with NAMI after leaving my therapist’s office in 2011. I thought that this group could be a pretty good place to go for support. I’d been struggling for years with my identity as somebody sick or crazy or normal. And through NAMI, I found my people, instead of a disney shrinkwrapped television version of people, and learned about other people’s situations and who I was as a person. And just like a broken arm or leg, you have to live with that for the rest of your life, but it heals right?

I continued to attend meetings and eventually a NAMI friend asked me to join the Board of Directors as a Consumer Advocate. And to explain that, everybody on our board has lived experience with Mental Illness. I, as a consumer advocate, am in recovery from said illness. I spend most of my time painting and working on science based projects. You can also find me out hiking and fishing all year round.

You can check out my art online at Instagram@alderartworks1 or Facebook@painting75. During the summers I work as a janitor cleaning up after other people, this job feeds my art habit. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Everyone for supporting NAMI, because without an organization like what we have here in Sandpoint, I’d still be living in the dark.


How Can I Help?

There's a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but one thing remains clear: people need access to mental health care and support. NAMI is here to ensure that no one is alone on their mental health journey.

Our mission is to educate and advocate for people with mental illness. And we would like your help. Here is our donation button if you would like to give so that we can continue our mission. It will take you to PayPal, and it's safe and secure. And they can process your credit or debit.

Or you can mail your check to:

 NAMI Far North Idaho
 P.O. Box 2415
 Sandpoint, ID 83864


Membership in NAMI Far North entitles you to membership in NAMI and NAMI Idaho. You will receive the NAMI "Advocate" and the NAMI Idaho Quarterly News.

Please provide your information below, then click submit to proceed to pay your annual dues:

  • $5 for Open Door Membership
  • $40 for Individual Membership
  • $60 for Family Membership


By volunteering with NAMI Far North, you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. 

contact us

Have questions? Reach out to us!

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If you are in crisis, call the Idaho Region 1 Crisis Line: 208-769-1406

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