Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You are not Alone: Remembering the founder of NAMI, and Recognizing the importance of Support Systems

By Felicia K. Wong

I am a big fan of NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. In honor of the late Harriet Shetler, co-founder of NAMI, who passed away last week, I would like to encourage you to learn more about this wonderful organization.

Since its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI is a support, education, advocacy and research group. Over the past three decades, NAMI has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country. NAMI recognizes that their greatest strength is the dedication of our grassroots leaders and members. On their  site, they state, “We are the families, friends and individuals that serve to strengthen communities across the country.”

If you, a friend, or family member, are affected by mental illness, please visit NAMI to learn more about the supports and services this organization offers. Support groups and organizations are important because they can provide emotional support, resources and helpful tools for people facing similar situations. Organizations like NAMI provide a voice for millions of Americans affected by mental illness and advocate to end discrimination, and to promote effective mental health services and supports.

Perhaps the most important thing that support systems can provide is a feeling that you are not alone.

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