Raising awareness

I spent the day at NAMIWalks (NAMI’s annual fundraiser) yesterday to raise awareness of and eliminate stigma surrounding mental illness. Great day! Thanks to the huge amount of people (and of course my team!) who participated. NAMI raised in the state of Virginia (Richmond walk)  $158,361 ( just one of about 60 walks); proceeds going towards research, treatment, programs, and more.

Information on NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness):

Mental illness affects everyone. Nearly 60 million Americans experience a mental health condition every year. Regardless of race, age, religion or economic status, mental illness impacts the lives of at least one in four adults and one in 10 children across the United States.

People living with mental illness need help and hope: they need a community that supports them, their families and their recovery.

Because mental illness devastates the lives of so many Americans, NAMI works every day to save every life.

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.

NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs.

NAMI website and info

Mental : If there is one thing I’ve learned from battling mental illness, substance abuse and many other disorders; it is that it makes no difference your age, gender,ethnicity, sexual orientation, life status, class, etc. We , as human beings, are all capable of having such problems. They are not a matter of morality or ethics, they are diseases. I came from a prominent family; that doesn’t matter, I still have bipolar disorder and substance abuse issues. I had nothing traumatic happen when I was young; sometimes things just are. Never think that someone is “better than that” or has been “taught better”; sometimes take control over your life (whether your life is “good” or “bad”). Factors (that make people people) make no difference where disorders, addiction, illnesses, etc. are concerned.

Physical: When exercising,either at a gym or alone, many people get discouraged because they do not look the best or do not perform “compared to”. This can lead to discouragement and completely quitting. Do not compare yourself; do the best YOU can do, not anyone else. Push yourself to be a better you; it will (more than likely) transfer into other areas of your life. Often you will receive a sense of accomplishment and this will give you a mental boost.

Social: Stigma; it is horrible and rampant in society. Stigma of age, race, orientation, physical and mental disabilities, illness, and on and on. Do not feel as though society might view you one way, that’s what you must be. Often, society is just wrong; do not succumb to social stigma and let it define you! Social stigma

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