iQ iiiHow did you first learn about NAMI NH and how long have you been involved with the organization?
While searching for support in July 2000, when our daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I discovered and attended the local affiliate support group in Lebanon. I also signed up for the Family-to-Family class that was being offered. I credit NAMI NH and its programs for helping me and my family to make this journey in an informed and supportive way.
iQ iii Can you share what your NAMI NH volunteer roles are and have been?
About a year into going to the support group when the previous leader needed to step down, I volunteered to take the NAMI training to become the support group leader and have been doing so since then. Last Fall I taught my first Family-to-Family class. Family-to-Family meant so much to me as a participant I wanted to take the training and to share it with others who could also benefit. About a year and a half ago I became a member of a Citizens Panel to help to develop and create a Mental Health Court in Lebanon. Through this interesting and exciting process, I have been able to connect with many of the other community resources involved who are trying to make a difference for people challenged with mental illness.
iQ iii What motivates you to continue to dedicate your time and energy for NAMI NH?
NAMI NH's programs and trainings are so well designed that their volunteers are both empowered and armed with solid up-to-date information and that encourages and empowers more individuals and their families to be better able to cope with their situations and to continue to spread the message of hope for recovery for their loved ones. This ultimately helps to reduce stigma and to provide dignity for those with mental illness. I can see in my own life how NAMI NH has helped us to better understand and cope and how this has benefited our daughter's progress. These are the reasons I continue to volunteer for NAMI NH.
iQ iii Can you tell us a little about some of the community education events you have organized?
As the support group leader and with the help of others in the group in addition to the Family-to-Family program, we have hosted In Our Own Voice presentations, participated in Health Fairs in the area, provided information tables at various community locations, spoken at the local Rotary, and most recently presented a MIND'S on the EDGE showing and panel discussion.