Our Mission

The mission of NAMI Rhode Island is to educate the public about mental illness; to offer resources and support to all whose lives are touched by mental illness; to advocate at every level to ensure the rights and dignity of those with mental illness; and to promote research in the science and treatment of mental illness.

NAMI Rhode Island was founded in 1983 by family members of people with serious mental illness as a grassroots, volunteer organization joined together to improve services for persons who are diagnosed with mental illness. Today we support education, research and other efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination against consumers of mental health services and their families which will finally lead to understanding and cure for this common health disorder.

NAMI Rhode Island is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation representing Rhode Island families affected by serious mental illnesses. Contributions to NAMI Rhode Island are tax deductible. NAMI Rhode Island is affiliated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

What We Do

NAMI Rhode Island is an independent grassroots, non-profit membership organization which provides support to people with mental illness and their family members and friends, educates professionals and the public about mental illness, and advocates for improved services for all people with mental illness.

We assist local affiliates to provide information and support for many Rhode Island families living with mental illness.

We present education programs, including the NAMI Family-to-Family Education course for families, consumers, and providers, Inside Mental Illness, the Peer-to-Peer education program, presentations in schools; and training for mental health professionals. We also offer lectures, workshops, and a yearly conference.

We advocate with policy makers and legislators on behalf of people with mental illness.


Research is becoming an important tool in helping treat and care for people suffering from serious brain illnesses. Whether it's research on the brain itself, or discovering new drugs, more strides have been made in the last 10 years than in the last 100 years combined.

Board Meetings

Third Wednesday of the Month
5:00pm - 6:30pm
NAMI Rhode Island Office
154 Waterman Street, Suite 5B
Providence, RI 02906

About NAMI Rhode Island

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Rhode Island

Board Officers


Marcia Boyd, Esq.

Vice President

David Bainer


Kathy Carland


Fred Sneesby

Board of Directors

Anne Coelho

Jeffrey Drury

Dwight Farrar

Ethan Kisch, M.D.

Jean Marandola

Vivian Moreno

Jeffrey Sparr

Beth Weiss

Max Zapata

Advisory Board

Kristin Fletcher

Elizabeth Aloisio, LCMHC

Maureen Apperson, RN

Helene Pniewski, MD

Family Support
NAMI ConnectionNAMI_Connection.html
NAMI Rhode Island Blog
Click HereBlog/Blog.html
Contact UsContact_Us.html
NAMI ConnectionNAMI_Connection.html
Family Support
Contact UsContact_Us.html

Our Staff

Executive Director

Chaz J Gross, CAGS


Inside Mental Illness and Speakers’ Bureau Program Coordinator

Penny Ferrara, BA


Office Volunteer

Sally Lukeris


NAMI RI Walk Manager

Sara Hutchings-Schwartz, BA/Bed-Eng

Middle School Endorsement

Like Us On:

Recovery Services Coordinator

Jeremiah Rainville, CWC, CPS, IPS