Monday, March 22, 2010
Dear Friend and Family,
I am writing you today to tell you about an upcoming event that I am very proud to be participating in again this year. As many of you may remember every year I organize a walk team to participate in NAMI’s charity walk. NAMI (The National Alliance on Mentally Illness), is the largest education, support and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all those whose lives are touched by these illnesses. This includes persons with mental illness, their families, friends, employers, the law enforcement community and policy makers. The NAMI organization is composed of approximately 1100 local affiliates, 50 state offices and a national office.
The goals of the NAMIWalks program are: to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness, to build awareness of the fact that the mental health system in this country needs to be improved and to raise funds for NAMI so that they can continue providing free education programs, support groups, national information helpline, and advocating for those with mental illness.
Many of you may already know my personal story of why I’m involved with NAMI but for those who don’t I’ll tell you a little bit about myself and my struggles. In 1999, at the age of 19 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. My family had some really tough years before I was diagnosed. They knew there was something not right with me but didn’t knowing what it was, where to go, or what to do to help me. I was spiraling downward fast and had no way of knowing that there was help or that life could be different, a life without all the chaos and cluttered thoughts. I do this walk every year to support NAMI because they are the people to turn to. They are there for people going through what I went through. They are there for the families like mine who felt they had nowhere to turn. Felt hopeless, and like they were alone in the struggle.
I would like to ask you to support NAMI by going to www.nami.org to donate money to help them continue all that they do for those with mental illness and their families.
Thank you so much,