What is the Definition of Mental Illness?


Mental Illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions-

disorders that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. Symptoms vary widely and may affect mood, thinking, and the ability to interact with others.


  • Many people are confused and frightened, and they do not understand what has happened to them.

  • They may find it hard to believe they have a mental health condition.

  • They may wonder whether their lives will ever seem “normal” again.

For Persons with Mental Illness:

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group is a free, peer-led support group for adults living with mental health challenges. You will gain insight from hearing the challenges and successes of others, and the groups are led by NAMI-trained facilitators who've been there.


By sharing your experiences in a safe and confidential setting, you gain hope and develop relationships. The group encourages empathy, productive discussion and a sense of community. 


For Parents With Children Who Have Mental Illness:

PALS (Parents Are Life Savers) is a NAMI-Joplin parent support group for parents who have children with mental health challenges.


Parents, you are not alone! We gather to support each other with our experience, strength, and HOPE! Call (417) 781-6264 to signup for support group.


NAMI Basics is a class for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents who have either been diagnosed with a mental health condition or who are experiencing symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed. 

For Family Members/Caregivers:

NAMI Family Support Group is a weekly or monthly support group for family members, partners, and friends of individuals living with a mental health concern.




NAMI Family-to-Family is a class for families, partners, and friends of individuals with mental health concerns. The course is designed to facilitate a better understanding of mental illness, increase coping skills and empower participants to become advocates for their family members. This program was designated as an evidence-based program by SAMHSA.





NAMI Homefront is a class for families, partners and friends of military service members and veterans experiencing a mental health challenge. The course is designed specifically to help these families understand those challenges and improve the ability of participants to support their service member or veteran. 

For the Community:

NAMI In Our Own Voice presentations change attitudes, assumptions, and stereotypes by describing the reality of living with mental health concerns. People with mental health conditions share their powerful personal stories in this free, 60- or 90-minute presentation. 



Law Enforcement and Mental Health:

A Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a model for community policing that brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis.


CIT programs enhance communication, identify mental health resources for assisting people in crisis and ensure that officers get the training and support that they need.