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About NAMI Upper Valley Idaho

NAMI Upper Valley Idaho serves Idaho Falls and surrounding areas. It is a chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Our mission is to better serve the lives of those with a mental illness and their families.


What does NAMI do?


NAMI Upper Valley Family to Family Class Graduates

Family Education Course is for people who have a loved one with mental illness. For more information, visit the Support Groups page.

NAMI Idaho (the state-level organization) has an annual meeting (usually in Boise) featuring national speakers, workshops led by experts, fellowship, and entertainment.  See the NAMI Idaho website at .

NAMI National provides on their website a host of information which the public can access. Local members may communicate with the media and provide information about current issues. Likewise they participate in health fairs manning a booth and distributing brochures. Members sit on an endless variety of committees – locally, state wide, and nationally informing and influencing policy.



NAMI Upper Valley Idaho Annual Picnic

NAMI provides groups which promote an avenue for sharing in confidence and receiving non-judgmental concern at times when feelings of guilt, fear, and anxiety may be overpowering. For a list of support groups click here.

Every June, NAMI Upper Valley Idaho holds an annual picnic, where new and prospective members can come and learn more about what we do, as well as meet people in the NAMI community. It is a great place to get more information, as well as some great food!

NAMI Upper Valley helps gather donations for local CIT (Crisis Intervention Teams). CIT programs are designed to improve the way law enforcement and the community respond to people experiencing mental health crises. To make a local CIT donation, visit the donation page and make sure to specify “CIT” in the memo line.



NAMI Upper Valley Idaho at the Idaho Falls Fourth of July Parade

Get involved with NAMI Upper Valley Idaho! Become:

  • a support group facilitator
  • a mental health educator
  • a mental health advocacy partner
  • an event coordinator
  • a communications partner
  • a fundraiser
  • a donor
  • a member

At the national level, advocacy is taken on by NAMI members who may volunteer to take positions on initiatives affecting research and development, improved treatment and rehabilitation services, or proposed legislation such as insurance parity, or policy regarding access to treatment and reducing criminalization of those with mental illness.



About Mental Illness

Mental illnesses are brain disorders, like epilepsy or Alzheimer’s disease, and are biologically-based medical problems. They include (but are not limited to) schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders (obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc), and major depression.

Are these brain disorders treatable?

YES! According to the National Institute of Mental Health the majority of people treated for schizophrenia, bipolar illness, and major depression improve. Delay in treatment worsens outcome.

About Schizophrenia

This disorder will strike 1% of Americans typically young adults in the prime of their life. People with schizophrenia may experience psychotic symptoms, such as inability to distinguish between real and unreal experiences, and they may have hallucinations. Appropriate medical care, rehabilitation, and support promote recovery.

About Bipolar Illness

This is slightly more common than schizophrenia – also usually coming on as a young adult. Symptoms involve cycles of disabling depression and frightening heights, which if untreated may include psychotic hallucinations and delusion. It may be episodic with intervening periods of normality.


About Major Depression

Such depression causes intense, prolonged feelings of hopelessness and functional disruption. It may be associated with false and irrational beliefs as well as a greater risk of suicide.



Board of Directors and Committee for NAMI Upper Valley Idaho

President: Jane Roberts   208 757-8300

Vice President: Larry Roberts   208 757-7650

Treasurer: Michael Sandvig   208 520-4210

Secretary: vacant   Telephone: 208

Advocacy: John Tanner   208 529-5605

NAMI Connections Recovery (Peer) Support Group: Sandy Sandvig   208 520-4410

NAMI Family-to-Family Class:  Telephone: 208

Email at

Mailing Address:  PO Box 2462,   Idaho Falls, ID  83401 

NAMI Idaho

Email Address –
NAMI Idaho website --