Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Countdown to Recovery: Voices of Hope

What inspires you? Who were the people who stood by you and helped you along the way? How did you get through the tough days and weeks?

These are the stories we want you to share with us and the rest of the NAMI community this December. As part of our Countdown to Recovery campaign we are spreading stories of hope throughout the holiday season.

Your stories that you share are extremely important. They can serve as a voice of help for others. Knowing that someone went through the same or similar experiences as they are going through and made it through can provide them the strength to battle through the trying times.

The stories you share can also help in the healing process. Remembering the important people and specific times that were helpful to you can remind you of the just how far you’ve come and how much success you’ve already had.

Sharing stories also can fight the enduring stigma of mental illness. Stories can show people who may not be familiar with mental illness that it can affect anyone regardless of race, creed, age or any other demographic. Mental illness is largely a genetic illness and is not the fault of the individual who has been diagnosed with it.

So how will we share these stories?—how will we spread these stories of recovery, these voices of hope?—to thousands of people not only across the United States, but around the world? Here at NAMI we are looking to social media sites such as NAMI’s Facebook and Twitter pages to let hope be heard.

During Countdown to Recovery we will post weekly questions to help get discussions started among our followers. Questions such as, ‘What are three tips for staying on the road to recovery?’ ‘What’s your favorite way to stay active and make sure your mind and body is healthy?’

On Twitter, we’ve created the hashtag #namic2r to bring all of the responses into one easy to find place. Join the conversation! Or start one of your own!

As more and more individuals begin to follow us, we only hope that the burgeoning discussions will continue. Spreading stories of recovery and hope will help bring the topic of mental illness to forefront of people’s thoughts and will not only instill hope but ensure equality for all individuals and their families living with mental illness.

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