Jim & Irma Malone and Asa & Ann Courson, advocates for the rights of those with a mental health diagnosis, joined together in 1987 to begin what is now known as NAMI Nassau County to provide a support system for those with a diagnosis and their family.
Hattie Morris joined soon after as president of the affiliate. Morris cared for a son with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Hattie Morris and her son Doug have both passed away, but their legacy continues with the annual Hattie and Doug Morris Golf Tournament Fundraiser that generates funds for the Nassau County affiliate.
Jo Heller later became president and advocated for a transition-respite home in Nassau County, now known as the Jo Heller transition home, located at 941510 Old Nassauville Road Fernandina Beach, Florida. It is an alternative to the Baker Act. Adults with a mental health diagnosis are able to stay for free for up to seven days. For more information call (904) 206-4120.
Jo Heller also advocated for self directed care with the help of state senator Aaron Bean. The self directed care program provides a life coach and funding to those with a mental health diagnosis to pursue educational, medical and social goals.
NAMI Nassau now has over 100 members and continues to offer free support groups. Our affiliate also pairs up with local behavioral health providers to offer scholarships to those that are not able to afford emergency psychiatric services.