Are You Struggling? NAMI Maine Can Help
As someone who struggles with a mental illness, it doesn't work well with the whole self-isolation. I'll be the first to say that 2020 hasn't been easy on anyone but especially those who have mental illness and substance abuse problems. The suicide rate is too high, and people are continuing to face these demons alone.
If you or someone you know is struggling and not only during these trying times, NAMI Maine is here to help. If you're unfamiliar, NAMI stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Here is a little information about NAMI history and its mission.
Through support, education, and advocacy NAMI Maine is dedicated to building better lives for the 1 in 4 Mainers who are affected by mental illness.
NAMI was formed in 1977 when two mothers, each with a son with schizophrenia, met over lunch to discuss their shared experiences and challenges. At a second lunch the women decided to assemble people with similar concerns.
In 1977, the second meeting drew about 13 people who met at a nightclub in Madison, Wisconsin. The name, Alliance for the Mentally Ill, was suggested, partly because its acronym, AMI, meant "friend" in French. Within six months, 75 people had joined.
Upon hearing about similar organizations around the country, they decided to hold a national conference. They hoped 35 people would come to Madison in September, 1979, but 284 representatives from 59 groups (representing 29 states) were in attendance.
By the end of the conference, a national group, The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill had been formed, named and financed. NAMI, renamed The National Alliance on Mental Illness to further reduce stigma and the discrimination associated with mental illness, is now based in Arlington, Virginia with over 1,000 local affiliates.
NAMI is making it their mission to help struggling teens as well. Together they have launched a new TEEN TEXT SUPPORT LINE; teens can use this tet line to text other qualified teens for emotional support. If you have a teen in your life or know of one that could you a peer, they can text 207-515-8398 from 12 pm - 10 pm. Please remember that adults are not alone in the struggle; any and all people can suffer from mental illness and isolation.
If you are interested in helping NAMI Maine raise money and spread awareness, please join them on September 12th, 2020, as NAMI Maine Walks to the Capitol.