Whisper or Yell your story

whisper or yell your story

When I was looking at the quote above, I thought about how stigma can at times cause us to not even be able to whisper our story.
Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health disorder but nearly two-thirds of all people diagnosed with a mental health disorder do not seek treatment? This is often due to fear of disclosure, lack of knowledge and fear of discrimination. It is difficult enough to reach out to others and even more so when one does not know where to get resources. We are prepared for life events such as school, college, that first job, becoming an independent adult but no one prepares us for dealing with a mental health disorder. It is not something in common conversations in school, among friends, communities or even in our families yet 1 in 5 Americans are living with a mental health disorder.
NAMI Northside Atlanta recognized how difficult it was for individuals and families to reach out for mental health resources. We have created a website www.naminorthsideatlanta.org where people can locate resources and support. This led to NAMI Northside Atlanta deciding to host a free annual mental health fair where individuals and families can be connected with mental health services throughout Atlanta. It has been well attended with over 300 people in attendance this year and over 30 exhibitors of mental health services. We are also able to have guest speakers who are experts in the field of mental health share information with those attending during the free luncheon.
All of this is possible due to fundraising through events such as the NAMI GA Walk. All of those who work at organizing the mental health fair, setting up the venue and helping on the day of the event are volunteers. It still costs money to provide the luncheon, set up the venue, advertise the event and provide printed materials during the fair. We could not continue to do so each year without the generous donations given during fundraising events.
Please support our efforts to give individuals and families a voice, resources, support and maybe the opportunity to someday “Tell Their Story” with others. You can join our team for the walk in November or make a donation to support us by going to http://namiwalks.nami.org/Northsiders . You can contribute to our team in general or support an individual walk team member by clicking on that person’s name. Help us “Yell Our Story” to others in our community.
Thank you!
Neitcha Thomsen
Northsiders Team Captain
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