Sunday, April 17, 2011

End the Stigma

Four years ago a close member of my extended family* was diagnosed with mental illness.

I love this person dearly, and since that time I have wondered what, exactly, I can do to provide support.  I suppose I could have been more proactive about seeking out opportunities, but, well, life's busy.  Not a great excuse, but it's the only one I have.

The time for excuses has come to an end, though.

Just recently I learned about NAMIWalks.  NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the largest education, support, and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all those whose lives are touched by mental illness. This includes persons with mental illness, their families, friends, employers, the law enforcement community and policy makers.  NAMIWalks is an opportunity to raise money for the various chapters of NAMI nationwide.

The Walk here in Portland is taking place this year on Sunday, May 22.  As a Mormon, I generally shy away from doing things on Sundays that aren't church-related, but I feel pretty strongly that God doesn't mind me missing church when I'm spending the time instead doing something to support someone I love.

If you feel inclined or inspired to support me in this event, you can go to my walker website, where you will find a safe, easy, and secure way to donate to the cause.  Every little bit helps.

And If you are in or around Portland and are interested in joining me in walking for this cause, I'd love to have some company!  You can find all the information you need on my website, too.  If you are too far from Portland to join me for this event, consider walking in an event that's local to you.  You can find information about all nationwide NAMIWalks events here.

It's time to get rid of the stigma and realize that people with mental illness deserve to be treated just like anyone with any kind of physical illness.  They deserve the respect and support of their communities, and they deserve access to quality and affordable healthcare.

And I'm doing what I can to help out.

Will you help, too?

*If you happen to know this family member, please be respectful of their privacy and do not mention them by name here on the blog.  Thank you!  (And darn that stigma.)


  1. I'm walking too! :) I work at a mental health residential treatment facility and I'm walking with my coworkers. Maybe I'll see you there!


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