By Mary Giliberti, J.D.
In this season of Thanksgiving, I want to write to thank all of you who come to NAMI for information—whether you are learning more about your mental health condition, how to help a friend or family member, or want to know more about mental health policy—we are very grateful that you have put your trust in NAMI.
I am grateful for all of those who are new to this field. Maybe you are beginning to experience symptoms or someone you love is struggling. NAMI is an organization of people who are affected by mental illness—individuals, their families or their friends and loved ones. Please think of us as a trusted friend, here to help and lend support. In addition to information about mental health conditions and mental health services, you can also find your state and local affiliates and learn about our classes and support groups, where the same kindness and compassion that you find on these pages will be extended to you in your community.
I also want to thank our longstanding supporters who frequently come to our site to find information to share, to register for our convention or to download fact sheets to put in doctor’s offices and hand out at health fairs. Thank you for staying informed so you can help others. There is no greater gift than the joy of helping others and I am so grateful to be part of an organization that exists to bring hope and help.
We live in a world where people with mental illness and their loved ones often feel alone, afraid, and confused. This website and NAMI’s programs are designed to change that experience so you can feel supported, empowered and educated. If there is any way we can do better to change that isolating experience of mental illness through these pages or in our other work, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We live in a world where people with mental illness are stigmatized, discriminated against, dismissed and associated with violence. If you have not taken the stigmafree pledge, please do so now! Pledge to take action to change the experience of people at your workplace, school, congregation, and community. Encourage others to take the pledge. It’s a gift that they can give you that will have impact far beyond the holiday season.
We live in a world where it is so difficult to find the treatment and support services that are desperately needed to address mental illness. Thank you so much to all of you who told your elected officials that the status quo is unacceptable and we need comprehensive mental health reform. For those who have not yet done so, please join NAMI’s Advocacy Network. We need everyone’s voices if NAMI is to fulfill its mission and achieve easy, early, effective mental healthcare.
NAMI's goal is to build a movement of people committed to changing the experience of mental illness in America. I am grateful to each and every one of you for being part of that movement and look forward to continuing to work alongside you to achieve equity, empowerment and early, effective mental healthcare and support. Happy Thanksgiving!
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