In 1973, Eve Oliphant invited a few other parents of children diagnosed with schizophrenia to her home in San Mateo County, California. Within a year, this small meeting had become PAS, Parents of Adult Schizophrenics, a vocal and determined advocacy group led by Oliphant and Tony and Fran Hoffman. Their goals were better services, more research, and an end to stigma and discrimination against the mentally ill. By 1977, nine family groups had been organized in the area, and Don Richardson and Stella March in Los Angeles, as well as other family activists around California, joined a statewide meeting in Oakland. The larger organization named itself CAFMD, California Association of Families of the Mentally Disabled. In 1979, California leaders met with other concerned parents in Wisconsin and took the first steps toward forming the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. CAFMD renamed itself CAMI in 1982.
The archives tell the nuts and bolts stories of mental health organizations and programs. Here are the letters, proposals, reports, flyers and brochures that explain how the PARTNERS program, the Village, Project Return, NAMI, and MHSA were conceived, developed and grew.