Friday, August 27, 2010

It’s Never Too Late—or Too Early—to Make a Difference

by Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director

Wow, the summer has flown.

It’s not quite Labor Day, but college students are back at school and a new round of NAMIWalks is getting advance news coverage in local communities. The next few weeks traditionally launch grassroots activities that will continue throughout the fall and into early next year.

It’s not too late to plan and get organized.

It’s also not too early.

One person, four people or any small community organization can make a difference.

For this fall, NAMI has provided a special tool kit for Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 2-9, including an “idea book” to help prepare one or more events for local public education. Another tool kit has been prepared to use over the next two months leading up to Election Day, Nov.2. Both kits can be combined for MIAW activities.

Beginning in late September, PBS stations in some communities will begin airing the documentary Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia. NAMI members can also sponsor screenings of the film on their own—at any time. Thanks to the producer, Delaney Ruston, M.D., NAMI members are allowed to order the home use version of Unlisted for $19.95 with copyright permission to use it for any public event, including conferences and fundraisers. The offer waives the regular institutional and educational charge of $75.00 and $135.00.

Soon after the election, Veterans’ Day will arrive. Each of these events or dates is an opportunity around which education about mental illness can be organized. Taken together, they provide a calendar and rhythm for planning. One event reinforces in building momentum and getting our voices heard.


Anonymous said...

Getting our voices heard - that is a wonderful goal. Why is NAMI silent so much of the time. For example, on the news a lot lately was the issue of Jennifer Aniston using the word "retard" about herself. There was an immediate and very loud response from ARC. The news picked it up, radio talk shows and tabloid TV shows really picked it up and it was heard loud and clear that even if it was meant innocently, as in the case of Ms. Aniston, such words are hurtful, destructive and will not be tolerated.

I am so angry with NAMI for their lack of ACTION on such matters. NAMI needs to speak out on behalf of those they proclaim to be advocating for.

I'll say it again - NAMI is almost worthless in regards to advocating for those who suffer from serious, SERIOUS mental illnesses.

Hopefully and finally, perhaps it really is "never too late."

NAMI needs new management beginning yesterday.

Anonymous said...

be happy and love. kiss