nami watsonville office
A grand opening ceremony was held Monday for the new headquarters of National Alliance on Mental Illness at 35 Penny Lane in Watsonville. The Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture was on hand to stage the ribbon cutting. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Santa Cruz County (NAMI) cut the ribbon on its new Watsonville headquarters on Oct. 24, a space that offers twice as much space as its previous location in Santa Cruz.

The move to 35 Penny Lane is the national organization’s biggest yet in restoring in-person services since the Covid pandemic forced most of them to go virtual, said Development Director Danu Schoeck.

“We’re really excited to have a bigger space now, where we can host classes, support groups, we can host other presentations and community events and really bring people back together, because that was something that was lacking during Covid,” she said. 

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. Its programs are led by trained people who have “lived experience” with mental health issues, Schoeck said.

“When someone comes in to participate in NAMI programs, they are entering into a community of people who have been through this kind of thing before,” she said.  

Programs include classes for adults with mental health issues, as well as people with anxiety, depression and more.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.


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