Running NAMI's news desk is a challenge, but a satisfying one. I get to monitor where and how NAMI is making a difference, especially at the grassroots level. It provides reminders of why we are here.
NAMI's bottom line is its mission: helping people affected by serious mental illness. Every day, we're proud of the work NAMI members are doing in every state and in hundreds of communities nationwide and proud when it is recognized in local or national media.
Here are two examples.
New York City's 24-hour news channel, NY1, recently aired a story about NAMI's NYC Metro affiliate and its back to-school launch of NAMI Basics classes for parents of children and adolescents experiencing mental illness.
The story profiles the family of Erin Mercado, now 17, who has lived with depression since age 12. NAMI Basics helped Erin's parents develop knowledge and skills needed to problem-solve, listen and communicate in helping their daughter.
It also was satisfying to read the article "Schizophrenia Tactics: How to Stay Out of the Hospital" on Health Central's www.schizophreniaconnection.com website, which recommends NAMI's Peer-to-Peer education program for people living with mental illness as an important means of learning to manage their conditions and identify triggers before relapses occur. Like NAMI Basics, Peer-to-Peer is one of many education and support programs NAMI offers.
The author of the Health Central story is Christina Bruni, who herself lives with schizophrenia. She once dropped by the press room at one of NAMI's national conventions as part of her research. I remember her. She is one of the many people I've been privileged to meet in my work.
Inside or outside NAMI, we're all part of a common cause. It's all about our mission. It's all about people. And that includes you.