You Are Not Alone

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“Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops at all.”

~Emily Dickinson

 

The big message that NAMI provides to families and individuals impacted by mental illness is “You Are Not Alone”. I know that when my family was looking for resources and support, it felt like we were very alone. Feeling that you are alone and the only person going through a challenge often makes it seem overwhelming and frightening. When we tell our story we let others know that we get it. It sends the message that we have been there and understand the struggles they are facing.

One way we share our story with others is through the Family-to-Family program. This is a 12 week program that is free to loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. The program teaches crisis management, communication skills, current research and treatment information, self- care, impact of mental illness on the brain, how to find support and resources and much, much more. The course is taught by two individuals who have family members with a mental illness. During the course there is a lot of sharing, bonding and telling of stories. It is amazing to watch the transformation that happens in the individuals attending the program. For many it is the first time they are among others who truly understand and are there to support them. In other words….they no longer feel alone. That is the power of telling our story. Your story can help others begin to heal and at the same time you heal in the process.

Please support the NAMI GA 2014 walk. It is through the fund raising provided by the NAMI Walk event that enables the local NAMI affiliates to continue to offer free support, education and advocacy to the Atlanta community. Family-to-Family is only one of the many free programs offered to our communities. To learn more about Family-to-Family and other NAMI programs visit www.nami.org and click on the “Support & Programs” and the “Education, Training and Peer Support Center”.

You can join our NAMI Northside Walk team by going to http://namiwalks.nami.org/Northsiders. Learn more about NAMI Northside Atlanta by visiting www.naminorthsideatlanta.org

Support us and help us continue to “Share Our Stories”.

Neitcha Thomsen

NNA 2014 Northsiders Walk team captain

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