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Arlington, Va., April 21—The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is hosting a virtual "launch party" for StrengthofUs.org, a free online community for young adults, ages 18-25, with a special music preview.
The "special guest" is William Fitzsimmons, a singer-songwriter who once worked helping people with mental illness before turning a passion for music into his profession. The site features a remix of the song "Goodmorning," from his upcoming Derivatives album, which is set for digital release on May 4, 2010.
StrengthofUs.org members can also read an interview with Fitzsimmons that is being published simultaneously in NAMI’s e-Advocate newsletter, submit questions to him or upload their own music to share.
The 1,000th person to join StrengthofUs.org will receive an autographed copy of Fitzsimmons’ previous CD, The Sparrow and the Crow, for which he was named an iTunes Best Singer-Songwriter. His music also has been featured on the television show Grey's Anatomy. Fans, critics and media liken him to musicians such as Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens and Elliott Smith.
StrengthofUs.org seeks to help young adults provide mutual support in navigating mental health challenges, as well as opportunities during critical transition years.
"Young adulthood is an exciting challenge but also a confusing and stressful time for anyone," said Michael Fitzpatrick, NAMI executive director. "Life can throw things at you fast."
Developed by college students and other young adults, StrengthofUs.org is a user-driven social networking community where a person can connect with peers, share personal stories, creativity and helpful resources by writing and responding to blog entries, engaging in discussion groups and sharing videos, photos and other news. It offers resources on:
NAMI created the StrengthofUs community through the support of the Rodwell Dart Memorial Foundation.
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy.