October is the mental health awareness month. Our affiliate is having a candlelight vigil on the evening of the 7th of October, at Carter Park in Leominster, There will be state politicians as well as our Mayor and members from NAMI there. This event happens annually and is about awareness of mental health issues in our country, our state and our cities and towns. NAMI is an organization that helps people by supporting both family caregivers as well as those who have a mental illness by support groups for both parties. Our affiliate has local support groups as well. See our EDUCATION page for details. But that is not the only way. We also offer many educational programs. One such program, going on right now, is the Family to Family Course, which I am happy to co teach with another experienced teacher. There is so much information given here and is so valuable to people. Another aspect of NAMI is ADVOCACY. This has 2 aspects. One is advocacy for your loved one, and advocacy for fairness in the system itself. As to the first aspect, family caregivers are mostly confused and thwarted by the episodes their loved ones are experiencing. And it often happens that other family members are confused as well. Family caregivers are encouraged to keep a log or journal about their loved ones episodes because there are instances where, because of HIPPA laws, you are not allowed to know about the conversations the doctor has with your loved one.The other aspect of advocacy is for the mental health system in the country and the individual states. Monitoring the amount of money allotted to the budget in State legislatures, fighting for fairness, to be treated equally, as other patients are when they are seeking health care. Also, once a year, NAMI does a walk to raise money for education and advocacy.
October is mental health awareness month. If you can, come to our candlelight vigil and listen to the various speakers.