Welcome to my personal NAMIWalks fundraising page. I am walking with NAMI because the work they do is very important to me. NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans impacted by mental illness.
Donating to NAMI through my page is easy, fast and secure. Your donation will make a difference and help people and families affected by mental illness right here in our region. Thank you for your support!
WHY I WALK
I have watched family members, friends and community leaders struggle with mental health and addiction concerns. The pain and anguish for everyone is difficult to experience. Yet, many still do not understand that these co-occurring disorders are diseases. Diseases no different than cancer, diabetes and many other debilitating diseases. Like cancer, mental health disease progresses in stages and at its worst can be devastating.
Stage 1, Mild Symptom & Warning Signs
Individuals show symptoms of a mental health condition, but is still able to maintain the ability to function, but not as easily as before they started showing symptoms. A feeling that something is “off.”
Stage 2, It becomes more obvious that something is wrong.
Symptoms are stronger and last longer, or new symptoms start appearing. This usually causes a snowball effect and causes trouble in many areas of life.
Stage 3, Symptom worsen with
reoccurring episodes accompanied by a serious disruption in life roles and activities.
Symptoms have continued to increase in severity, many taking place at the same time. Individual may feel like they are losing control of their life and the ability to fill roles and responsibilities at home, work, or school.
Stage 4, Persistent and severe symptoms have jeopardized the individual’s life.
The extreme, prolonged and persistent symptoms or impairment often results in developing other health condition and has the potential to turn into a crisis event. In a worst case scenario, untreated can lead to a loss of life on an average of 35 years early.
As individuals progress through each mental health decline their judgement and decision making skills are hampered leading to hospitalization, unemployment, homelessness, or incarceration. Self-care is often nonexistent. When cancer patients receive a stage 4 diagnosis they often fear that they may not recover, that it is a death sentence. Yet there are times that individuals do recover and live for many years after the diagnosis.
The stage 4 diagnosis for the mental health patient may have the same result with intensive, long-term treatment and a lot of hard work during the later stages. Non-the-less the huge obstacle for many is the stigma and a poor health system unable to support recovery due to a lack of funds.
Yes, that is why I walk. Yes, that why NAMI Metro and others walk. So, we can advocate, educate and support our family member (s), friends, and those in the community. Those with mental illness often succumb to some the “other” horrific diseases such as cancer, diabetes etc. because of their lack of understanding about the disease they struggle with on a daily basis and an uneducated community.