Amistad came to life in 1982, begun by families of adults with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). These families knew that what their loved ones really needed was something not provided by other agencies -- a safe place to spend their abundant free time where they would be treated respectfully and where they could engage in useful activities.
Amistad has grown over the years, however we remain committed to the original vision. We are a community where everyone is always welcome on a first name basis without regard to diagnosis and where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We do the little things -- remember birthdays, celebrate accomplishments, take pictures, and memorialize members when they pass.
We became a recognized 501(c)(3) corporation in 1996. Originally known as a social club, in 2001 the members voted to describe themselves as a Peer Support and Recovery Center. This name change reflects the awareness that Amistad has grown into a community of people committed to health, mutual support and recovery.
In the past few years Amistad has become a leader in developing services that are organized and delivered by peers. We now operate three individual programs -- the original Peer Support and Recovery Center in Portland, we have expanded to include a Peer Support program in the Emergency Room at Maine Medical Center, and established a Peer Support Program inside Riverview Psychiatric Center.