Harriet Shetler, a pioneer in the family advocacy movement and one of the founders of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), died yesterday in Wisconsin.
Shetler was a pioneer and co-founder of a local support group in 1977 for families who had a mentally ill relative. Two years later, the group they formed, Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Dane County, (AMI is also French for "friend ") hosted a conference bringing other family groups at the University of Wisconsin in Madison to discuss shared interests for a larger coalition. By the end of the Labor Day weekend, they had created the National Alliance on Mental Illness. For many years, Shetler continued an active leadership role in Wisconsin as well as in the national organization serving on the board and in other capacities. She was 92.