3 Reasons to Come to the NAMI National Convention

MAY. 13, 2015

By Nancy Kehoe

 

Before I attended my first NAMI National Convention I had participated in numerous other conventions: the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation, to name a few. What I experienced at NAMI that first year is why I keep coming back year after year. When I think of the NAMI National Convention three words come to mind:

Vitality

There is a palpable energy everywhere. A spirit of hopefulness, commitment, and equality is present because everyone who is participating has been touched by the experience of mental illness, either because they personally live with it or because they have a family member who lives with an illness.

The reality of a shared experience means that there are no strangers. Everyone “gets it” and that means the language, the respect, the attention to individual needs, shape everything in the conference.

Knowledge

NAMI brings together amazing men and women in various segments of society, celebrities in sports, politics, media who have given heart-felt expression to their own struggles and stand as witnesses to the power of recovery. The workshops cover a wide range of issues that focus on the latest research in relation to medication, programs for recovery, best practice community endeavors, family to family programs and spirituality.

Connection

But what I value even more than learning from experts, is the opportunity to get to know individuals from different parts of the country, people who are really fun to be with, who know that it is in coming together, in working for a common cause that something can happen. The journey, although it certainly has its pain, can make people better, not bitter. Being a part of the convention has been a gift in my life!

Comments

Comments
JUN, 13, 2015 02:53:14 PM
Carisaa Johnson
I live in Rome off of Kingston Hwy, Rome Ga. I have a truck, although I would really appreciate if someone could pick me up and take me to a meeting. I'm 34 years old.

JUN, 01, 2015 07:22:34 PM
Gina Francis
Hopeful!

MAY, 30, 2015 03:11:36 PM
Tameka
My son sang at the Boston NAMI event last year. Would it be possible for him to sing at another NAMI event?

MAY, 30, 2015 07:53:14 AM
Elaine Gilliam
For over 35 years I have stressed over the care of my mentally ill son, now 60. In all those years no progress has ever been made for housing of a person ill with a dual diagnosis. My son has been taken from me by the local police. He resides in illegal conditions in homes for independent living in San Diego. I can't find a decent place for him to reside in the whole country. He is now slowly dying of alcoholism and allowed to drift. His Doctor wants him declared incompetent but the system is impossible. I fear he will die alone in a filthy home run by intrained people who use his SSI check to pay their mortgage. No for me NAMI has failed, failed, failed.

MAY, 28, 2015 09:08:06 AM
Gil Gadson
In recovery, when we meet, associate and share who we are, we are immeasurably empowered. We get to vicariously share other people's journeys and the joy of their success. We get to empathize, understand and see first hand the limitless possibilities in life. We get validated and see in real time that we are not alone and others share our struggle. We find and meet friends, confidants, soul-mates, sponsors, role-models and mentors. And then we go home enriched-possibly with a new idea and a momentum. that can carry us to new adventures, opportunities and relationships. These affairs are a must as we expand our base and most of all learn and grow.

MAY, 28, 2015 02:00:55 AM
Rizanito Holandez
It would be nice if I can prevent schizophrenia within me. At the time it's like someone taking control of your thoughts and reasons. It's good to have support groups. I just wish that NAMI would help monetarily for its survivors. I'm going to join a Fatboy 5k run/walk in Long Beach and I'm walking for NAMI but they would not even pay my entrance fee. I'm receiving SSA benefits but that can only go so far. I wish somebody would help.

MAY, 28, 2015 12:03:52 AM
Norma
My daughter is currently in prison due to crime she committed while going through an episode of bi-polar event. I want to learn how to help her and me with her rights and resources

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