Thursday, September 1, 2011

NAMI's News Desk: People Watching

By Bob Carolla, NAMI Director of Media Relations

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 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.


Jacob Bowen said...

I read Christina Bruni's article. It would be very helpful for anyone who has come to acceptance that they need medications. She pointed out a vital statistic though, in that, only about half of people with schizophrenia realize it.
I made the local hospital rounds about 11 years ago. Fortunately, I didn't wind up in Oregon's state hospital. I was close too though, because my psychiatrist couldn't get me stabilized while I was in the local hospital.
It is good when NAMI is recognized. I served on the board in my county for a couple years, but unfortunately became burned out. Recognition is a great pick-me-up for the hard work people do. There just simply aren't enough volunteers to go around these days with such hectic lives and rigorous work schedules.

Moemamad said...

My Son, now 34,diagnosed approximately age 18,..multiple disorders..depending on which doctor he saw at which hospital or facility. But to the root of my post..David was transferred to a Long term (minimum 5 mos)facility in Miami Florida.. 5 days after he arrived.. Federal agents came in shut down the facility and arrested all the staff.. David was in housing not legally connected with the program, but he received his therapy and medications at program. Now 2 plus weeks later he is somewhere in Miami Florida with no meds and no doctors and no programs! There is no procedure for the out patients at the facility to be looked after or their families to be alerted that the facility had been SHUT DOWN! Hello America! The facility's online ads are still up and going...

Ross said...

After what I have been through with MHCD Denver (not good), I strongly encourage NAMI to take a hard look at models and programs. MHCD spends a lot of energy and resources on p.r. and winning awards, but the industry itself is self-promoting. My mental health care with them was a destructive disaster, and it is because the system itself is so rigged. It's not about the clients, it's about careers, big paychecks, national awards, and the illusion of quality mental health care.

Counselling Southampton said...

Undergoing some medical treatment maybe annoying but it is necessary for you to get well. It is not a negative thing to be avoided but a positive one to be accepted. I understand your emotions. And I hope with a help of a counselor everything will be fine. Have a nice day.