Telephone:  845-956-NAMI (6264)                                                                               Toll-free:   1-866-906-NAMI (6264)
                                        InstagramInstagram:  NAMI Orange NY
                                     facebook icon FaceBook:  NAMI Orange County, NY 
                                     facebook icon FaceBook:  NAMI Orange Discussion Group
                                                                                                                                                   PLEASE NOTE: This is a Closed
Discussion Group

      *Contact us if you wish to be added to our email database to receive meeting announcements

 3 digit Crisis Hotline for Suicide Prevention

Would you be interested in becoming a NAMI Orange board member?
If so, contact Dhanu at 845-294-2749
or email
to learn about the application process

Upcoming Events/Outreaches

See details
of upcoming NAMI
meetings and courses by clicking links below:


Starting Wed Oct. 9, 6:30-9 p.m.
for six  Wednesdays through Nov. 20
(no class Nov 13)
Call Dhanu now to pre-register
Click link for details.


in Newburgh on Saturdays for 6 weeks, starting
Sat., Jan. 4,
9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
St. Francis of Assisi Church
(O'Connor Hall)
145 Benkard Ave.,
Newburgh, NY 12550

Pre-register now
Call Dhanu
845-294-2749, or
office 845-956-6264


On-going  Meetings:

NAMI Connection
a peer-led support group for adults living with a
mental illness.
No fee, no registeration
PLEASE NOTE: these Orange County meetings are on a temporary hold. We will post here when the weekly meetings will resume.

Check out NAMI Connection in Sullivan County

Mon., Oct. 21
7 p.m. p.m.
NAMI Family Support Group
ORMC, Middletown

no fee
no registration

Educational Conference

October 25-27
at the
Albany Marriott

Tues., Nov. 5,
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Family Support Group
First Presbyterian Church in Goshen

Mon., Nov. 25

6:30-8:30 p.m.
NAMI Orange
Annual Meeting

including vote for Board of Directors by the membership

RSVP Requested

Mon., Dec. 2

Holiday Party for members and their families; and
invited guests

 NAMI Presentations:

  -Ending the Silence

-In Our Own Voice

arranged by request

*Click on above
 links for details

       2018 NAMI Orange Appreciation Awards


          Susan Miller         Nolly Climes      

           Susan Miller              Nolly Climes

NAMI Orange is grateful to Rehabilitation Support Services, Inc. for providing us with office space; this has included allowing us to print all of our outreach materials which are so vital in educating the general public, families, teachers, students and also people with a mental health condition about how to recognize signs and symptoms and where to receive help and support. Thank you for your on-going support and giving NAMI Orange a home.


   2018 NAMI Orange Appreciation Awards

                Donna Kessler, THR

            Donna Kessler, Times Herald Record

NAMI Orange expresses deep gratitude for your on-going support in publishing our events in the Times Herald Record which allows people to become aware of our education meetings, website, contact information, helpline, courses and support groups for the benefit of our Orange County community.


     2017 NAMI Orange Appreciation Award

                           Pat SianoPat Siano
Pat Siano

NAMI Orange is grateful to Pat for her enthusiasm and zeal in spreading the word about what NAMI has to offer to people with mental health conditions and their families. She participated in NAMI Walks, volunteers for the Families Helping Families program at the Behavioral Unit at Orange Regional Medical Center, has trained in NAMI's Ending the Silence, Family-to-Family and participated in the NAMI Homefront course as well as be an administrator of our NAMI Orange Facebook page.

    2017 NAMI Orange Appreciation Award

                                  Neila Smith

NAMI Orange is very thankful to Neila for her excellent fund-raising efforts by participating in NAMI Walks in Albany which benefited not only NAMI-NYS, but also NAMI Orange.

      2016 NAMI Orange Appreciation Award

              Dhanu Sannesy

NAMI Orange is forever grateful to Dhanu for her dedication and passion in offering help, support and encouragement to individuals and families that are impacted by mental illness.

In 2016, as President of NAMI Orange, she worked endless hours to bring our affiliation into compliance with NAMI's new Standards of Excellence.

She diligently networks with legislators, attorneys, police departments, mental health workers, hospital staff and college faculty to educate and advocate. She has been trained in three NAMI Signature Programs (NAMI Family Support Group, NAMI Family-to-Family and NAMI Ending the Silence) which she shares with the community as well as serving on numerous county committees.
Dhanu volunteers to answer our HelpLine and she coordinates the Families Helping Families program at the Behavioral Unit at Orange Regional Medical Center. Dhanu also serves on the Board of Directors of NAMI-NYS.

We are pleased and proud to have Dhanu exude her boundless energy and thinking outside the box in our behalf.

    2016 NAMI Orange Appreciation Award

       Jennifer Grudnowski, Esq
         PRO BONO Partnership

NAMI Orange is extremely grateful for being accepted as a client by PRO BONO Partnership for the massive undertaking of creating our new set of By-Laws. Jennifer listened to our goals and coordinated a perfect pro bono match for us with a participating volunteer attorney. She continued to be a valuable on-going source of help and information throughout the entire process.

     2016 NAMI Orange Appreciation Award


            Vanessa Savino, Esq.
       attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate,
        Meagher & Flom LLP and affiliates

NAMI Orange was so fortunate to have Vanessa, a volunteer attorney, who participates with PRO BONO Partnership, be assigned to us for the Herculean task of creating our new set of By-Laws that would meet NAMI's new Standards of Excellence.  Through on-going research, emails and conference calls, she devoted the time and energy to bring the project to its successful completion.


     2016 NAMI Orange Appreciation Award

                    Fina Bruce
            Health/Special Sections Editor
                     Times Herald record

NAMI Orange is very thankful to Fina, who has been diligent in publishing on-going NAMI Orange events for public awareness, including our monthly education meetings, our support groups (NAMI Family Support and NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group) as well as In Our Own Voice and our educational course NAMI Family-to-Family.


Peggy Spagnola2016 NAMI-AMICO Appreciation Award

               Peggy Peggy Spagnola Spagnola

Peggy has served our NAMI-AMICO community through her entire membership going back over 15 years when she started being a facilitator at the Mental Health Association's Family and Friends Together Support Group. She created a presentation for providers called "From Families' Perspectives on Having a Loved One with Mental Illness". Both she and her husband Walter served as instructors for NAMI Family-to-Family courses over many years. 

Then as President of NAMI-AMICO, Peggy represented us on many County committees as well as at many outreaches and at ongoing NAMI-NYS events. She has been involved with the very important Crisis Intervention Team trainings for our local police officers.  She has led our educational meetings and advisory board meetings and also recognized the need to update our NAMI-AMICO brochures to present a positive tone to reach out to the public about mental illness.  Peggy has provided guidance and resources to everyone who emailed NAMI-AMICO requesting help. She was instrumental in our organization's being able to continue to be eligible for a grant from the Orange County Department of Mental Health.

For these reasons and many more, the members of NAMI Orange (previously known as NAMI-AMICO) were pleased to present Peggy with our 2016 Appreciation Award.



2015 NAMI-AMICO Appreciation Awards

Linda Linda Weiser Weiser

NAMI-AMICO owes our very existence to Linda Weiser, who recognized (30 years ago) that there was a need for more services and supports, not only for individuals with mental health issues, but also their families.  She helped found NAMI-AMICO in 1985 and has continued her work serving on County committees, serving for many years as President of NAMI-AMICO and currently organizing our Help Line telephone volunteers and the Families Helping Families volunteers at Orange Regional Medical Center - both of which provide education and support to individuals and their families regarding mental health issues.
Our members and families are forever grateful to Linda for her many years of insightful and dedicated service.


First Presbyterian Church in Goshen

                   Reverend David Calvin Kingsley

                     Sue Varden, Clerk of Session

                    Pat Schwetje, Church Secretary

For the past 8 years, the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen has graciously opened its doors to NAMI-AMICO for our annual December holiday celebration, some of our Family-to-Family classes, our weekly NAMI Connection group and most recently our monthly NAMI Family Support Group.
By accommodating our need for meeting rooms, the church has enabled NAMI-AMICO to project a message of acceptance and hope to all affected by mental illness. 
NAMI-AMICO would also like to acknowledge the members of the choir for giving of their time to sing at two of our Candlelight Vigils.

Joan  Kaiser

Joan has been a long-time devoted member and hard working volunteer for NAMI-AMICO. She has a seat on the Board of Directors and has been our treasurer for 6 years. She is highly organized and keeps good track of our funding and expenses, pays our bills in a timely manner, submits reports to the County and keeps us on the straight and narrow.

MHA Family Support Adult Services
Volunteer of the Year


May 21, 2015 Recipients: Anil Sannesy and Megan Wieben


Anil Sannesy Megan Wieben

Anil Sannesy

Anil Sannesy has been a devoted and dedicated volunteer for MHA Family Support for many years. Additionally, he has been a member of NAMI-AMICO (National Alliance on Mental Illness - Alliance on Mental Illness in the County of Orange). The first time the program met, Anil was at the Family Support/NAMI-AMICO   Holiday Party where he performed an amazing Elvis impersonation. What an impression he made!

Anil has completed the In Our Own Voice training, and along with Megan Wieben, has provided numerous presentations throughout the com- munity. He is also the co-facilitator of the weekly NAMI Connection Support Group.  This group is offerred to persons with mental illness and is a valuable service for our community helping people to connect.  He has also taken the Intensive Peer to Peer training while working at Middletown Clinic for several months.

It is always a pleasure to see Anil at our events with his smiling face while he makes connections with our members. Anil is an asset to MHA's Family Support, NAMI-AMICO and the mental health system, and is well deserving of this award. Therefore, it is a true honor to recognize Anil Sannesy as the 2014 MHA Family Support Adult Services Volunteer of the Year.

Megan Wieben

Megan Wieben has been a volunteer for MHA Family Support for over five years.  Additionally, she has been serving on the NAMI-AMICO (National Alliance on Mental Illness-Alliance on Mental Illness in the County of Orange) Board of Directors for the last year, attends all the board meetings and makes herself available to volunteer on a regular basis with the various events organized by the Family Support Prog. and NAMI-AMICO.

Megan has been a facilitator for NAMI Connection for several years. This is a group of individuals with mental illness who meet every Friday night in Goshen.  Along with facilitating the group, Megan has taken the NAMI training for In Our Own Voice presentation, which is the sharing of her personal journey with others in the community.  Along with Anil Sannesy, she has provided this moving presentation at many different venues.
Megan is also on the Community Advisory Board for Access: Supports for Living. Along with these commendable accomplishments, Megan volunteers at PetSmart which is of great benefit to everyone.  Megan is a pleasure to work with, always cheerful with a readiness to help in all situations and she is absolutely deserving of this award
MHA's Family Support Program is very fortunate to have Megan as a hard working volunteer who is a devoted advocate and friend. It is our honor and privilege to recognize Megan with the 2014 Family Support Adult Services Volunteer of the Year.





May 22, 2014 Recipients: Dhanu Sannesy and Catha Wieben


Dhanu Sannesy Catha Wieben

Dhanu Sannesy

Dhanu has been a volunteer for MHA Family Support for over ten years. Additionally, she has served on the NAMI-AMICO Board of Directors as Vice President for several years. Dhanu is a true advocate and promoter for families who have loved ones with mental illness. She was also instrumental in initiating the NAMI-AMICO website.

Dhanu helps head the vital "Families Helping Families" committee that distributes information and gives support to families visiting their loved ones in the Behavioral Health Unit at Orange Regional Medical Center. She has made many contacts and referrals to Family Support and NAMI-AMICO through this program and has given families a caring, understanding and friendly face to talk to at this very stressful time in their lives. She helps compile and distribute the packets of information that are given at the hospital and makes sure supplies are there for the other volunteers.

Furthermore, Dhanu assists with the facilitation of MHA's Family Support Groups.  Additionally, she diligently coordinates and arranges relevant speakers for the groups. Most importantly, she assists with responding to calls from families in need of services and supports.

It is also important to acknowledge that Dhanu, along with Catha Wieben, became NAMI-AMICO Family to Family instructors in May.  This will add another set of instructors in Orange County making the classes more available benefitting additional families who can use this education.

These outstanding attributes and qualities possessed by Dhanu make her an exceptional volunteer. As a result, it's MHA's true priviledge and honor to present the 2013 Family Support Volunteer of the Year.

Catha Wieben


Catha has been one of the most dedicated and active volunteers for Family Support Adult Services at MHA for over six years. She has stepped up and become an outstanding partner in her role as family support advocate, member of NAMI-AMICO Board of Directors and co-secretary for NAMI-AMICO. She has expanded her connection into the community by attending meetings and presentations and engaging her fellow colleagues in the area of mental health.

She has helped promote and sustain the NAMI Connection Support Group which has been going strong for over three years. She is invariably present and willing to participate whenever the need arises. When the picnic, holiday party and Candlelight Vigil occur, she is one of the first volunteers to help plan, coordinate, execute and participate in the events.

During the last several months, she has been a co-facilitator for the Family & Friends Together and NAMI-AMICO support groups making sure the families always have that link to the support and information they need. Catha has some remarkable attributes that help her perform her volunteer activities with dedication and empathy.

Along with her co-nominee, Dhanu Sannesy, Catha became trained to be a new instructor for the NAMI-AMICO Family to Family classes benefitting even more families who can use this invaluable education.

MHA's Family Support Program is very fortunate to have Catha as a hard-working volunteer who is a devoted advocate and friend. As a result, it is our honor and priviledge to recognize Catha with the 2013 Family Support Volunteer of the Year Award.

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