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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Get it peeps!

I was reminded last night that life is not a pissing contest. Pain is pain, in any shape or form. Mental or physical. What’s very bad for someone might not be so for someone else and vice versa. There is no wrong or right,no instantly “snapping out of it”. At least not for THIS girl. Footwork is required.

I also need help with this, I”m the captain of a team for NAMIWalks.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.

Description: 

Every day, we reach out and respond to those in need.

As the navigator of our nine signature education programs, offered in thousands of communities across America through our NAMI State Organizations NAMI Affiliates, we ensure hundreds of thousands of families, individuals and educators are served. NAMI is tireless in our efforts to equip and train grassroots volunteer facilitators who provide individual and family support groups in thousands of communities across America. Through the toll-free NAMI HelpLine, we respond personally to hundreds of thousands of requests each year, providing free referral, information and support—a much-needed lifeline for many.

Public awareness events and activities including Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), NAMIWalks, and other efforts, successfully combat stigma, promote awareness and encourage understanding.

By responding to current news events as they happen, NAMI ensures that media reporting is compassionate, understanding and accurate in portrayals of mental illness—NAMI promotes solutions.

Each day, NAMI effectively shapes the national public policy landscape for people with mental illness and their families and equips grassroots volunteer leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to save mental health in all states.

NAMI reaches out to our country’s youth and young adults, helping to shape the next generation’s experiences with recovery, encouraging a better tomorrow for all Americans.

Recognizing the unique needs of our American heroes and their families, NAMI aggressively reaches out to help offer free and essential NAMI education and support group programs in thousands of local communities.

NAMI actively promotes mental health care, support and a caring community for our veterans, their spouses and their children.

Tirelessly promoting research, as they have done for decades, NAMI ensures solutions for early intervention, improved treatments and, eventually, a cure for mental illness.

Continuing to build and cultivate virtual communities that reach millions of Americans who turn to NAMI through NAMI.org and social media channels for the latest information on treatment, services, supports, advocacy, research happenings, NAMI works every day to offer inspiration, information and encouragement.

My NAMIWalks: Arlyn’s NAMIWalks page You can join me, donate, leave a message, etc 🙂 (I do not get kickbacks BTW!) All donations go straight to NAMI!

I am in a rush, so I don’t have time to dole out the usual…but I saw the man with the cane walking around the track again. AWESOME!

Better person