By | October 3, 2023



Forest City- Nonprofit organization NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) South Mountains NC held a meeting and dinner on Friday night to discuss their mission and to honor volunteer Matthew LaBreche for his service and commitment to ACRN (Allied Comprehensive Recovery Network)

NAMI started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 and has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, they are an alliance of more than 600 local affiliates who work in our communities to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

NAMI Director Diane Krisanda.

NAMI envisions a world where all people affected by mental illness live healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a community that cares. NAMI provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.

Our local chapter is located at 124 S. Powell St. Suite D, Forest City, NC. They can be contacted at (828) 771-6305 email: or their website at

ACRN Matthew LaBreche

NAMI (FB link) feels that community is essential to combating mental illness and substance abuse. Our local branch is working closely with ACRN. Matthew LaBreche did a presentation (see video here) showing how underserved we are here in Rutherford County. We have 0.9 health professionals for addiction issues per 10,000 people here in Rutherford County. Having nonprofit organizations that can work together not only with each other but with the community as well as health care professionals is essential in trying to combat the severe needs in this county.

Matthew started ACRN (FB link) two years ago. Its mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment for patients engaged in recovery from substance abuse or substance abuse with mental illness by using nationally recognized evidence-based practice and treatment plans. Matthew recently purchased 10 acres on Fairground Road in Spindale to start placing transitional housing units. He is currently trying to re-purpose shipping containers into small homes to create a small campus in a supportive atmosphere. If you know of anyone who can help with this project please contact ACRN.

One item that was brought up by NAMI was the importance of having churches involved in this effort. It was a sad commentary that only 3 church representatives showed up from the over 200 that were invited. The significant contributions of religious organizations are invaluable in helping our communities with food and clothing insecurities but mental illness and substance abuse must be addressed also.

It was good to see so many who did come out to support this effort and that the First United Methodist Church in Forest City so graciously provided the venue. Thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who give so much of themselves to help our community.