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About Us

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), founded in 1979, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of families and individuals impacted by mental illness. NAMI Butler County was founded as an affiliate in 1992 and has worked faithfully since that time to provide hope and help to families, friends and individuals impacted by mental health disorders in and around Butler County. We do this through education, support, advocacy and working against stigma.

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Our mission is to improve the quality of life for families and individuals impacted by mental health disorders through education, support, advocacy and stigma reduction.


Our vision is to create communities and systems that support and empower those impacted by mental illness.

Support Group Session

Meet The Staff


Rhonda Benson, MSW
Executive Director

Rhonda worked as a case manager in community mental health for over 10 years. She spent an additional 10 years working in the field of substance abuse. Prior to her role as executive director, she served as associate director of NAMI Butler County for two years, starting in 2009. Rhonda graduated with honors from Purdue University with a bachelors in sociology and psychology. She earned her masters in social work, also with honors, from the University of Michigan. She is a member of the National Honor Society of Social Workers, and currently serves on the Butler County Public Health Preparedness Committee as well as the Butler Behavioral Health Board of Directors. Rhonda is an instructor and facilitator for several NAMI Signature programs.

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Alyssa Louagie
Associate Director

Alyssa graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Toledo Honors College. After graduation, she spent six years in the human resource and benefits field before transitioning into the non-profit sector. She previously worked for another Butler County non-profit for two years, as well as in both paid and volunteer roles with a local church children's ministry. She started with NAMI Butler County in January of 2013. She has served in a variety of leadership roles with various PTOs, district organizations and committees with the Lakota School District. She is a member of the women's Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO). Alyssa is a NAMI Basics instructor and a Family Support Group facilitator.

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Berni Murray
Program Director

Berni joined NAMI-Butler County as Program Director in September, 2016. Berni taught for over 32 years throughout Ohio and Michigan in a variety of both Elementary and Special Education settings. She earned her teaching degree in Special and General Education from Bowling Green State University in 1982 and a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration and Supervision in 1999 from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. Upon her retirement from teaching in 2015, she moved to Butler County with her husband, Dennis. Berni is a Family-to-Family and Family & Friends instructor, and a Family Support Group facilitator.

The Board of Directors

Kimball Stricklin

Chris Gaal

Amy Macechko

Nancy Holtkamp
Vice President

Keith Beall

Joe Payne

Brad Arnott

Susan Dodgson

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