Well, as far as race goes - whatever race (or combination of races) you are, that's what you are. Not gonna change. Politics and religion - whatever yours are, now, that's by your own choice, and you can choose to stay what you are now, or make a change at any time of your choosing. There's a kind of security in that.
Not so with mental illness. At any moment, mental illness can hijack you and make you sound... like a winner.
|Charlie Sheen, via Wikimedia|
I kind of feel sad I do not (yet) qualify to be included. (But maybe my time will come.)
If mental illness does strike, either you or someone in your family, you can't call Ghostbusters.
You can call NAMI (And I bet they'll help hook you up with your local resources if you live outside of the USA.)
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all of those in need.
From its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Financial contributions allow NAMI to offer an array of programs, initiatives and activities in support of the NAMI mission.NAMI provides support for local centers that offer programs such as:
- Missing Persons Support
- Veterans Resources
- Information, training and support for parents, teachers, and professionals dealing with mentally ill children and adolescents.
One of the problems we face in the US (and pretty much, every country all over the world), is when economic times are tough, programs that help the mentally ill and their families are usually among the first to be slashed. It's understandable; it is also penny-wise, pound-foolish. Supporting someone with a manageable mental illness to stay on his/her meds, in counseling and employed, is way cheaper than locking him or her in jail, where a number of mentally ill people end up.
But there's still the perception that if mentally ill people "just tried harder," they could think/will themselves out of their depression or mania or auditory hallucinations. (Dare I say that people who think that are, well, crazy?)
How can you help? Pick any/all of the below:
- Join NAMI as a member. (Dues are currently $35 a year. Hell, I spend more than that just on chocolate.)
- Follow NAMI on FaceBook.
- Follow NAMI on Twitter.
- Donate, when funds permit.
- Vote for candidates and measures that support mental health.
- Speak out when people with mental illness or disabilities are bullied or become a Stigmabuster.
My A-Z theme is Issues related to Mental Health or Mental Illness.
Have you had a personal experience with NAMI?
Ever supported their walks, or donated?
Has mental illness touched your life?