Sunday, April 15, 2007

Caregivers need love, too

My dearest and bestest friend from college called me the other day. It really brightened my day! We used to haunt the nooks and crannies of the Berkeley campus to study in peace. We lost touch several years ago, but she took the time to search out my family to get in touch with me. You don't make friends like that very often.

But I digress, yet again. I wanted to post about the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. It is a wonderful organization that provides resources on mental health care, including those for the family/caregivers. NAMI is, in my opinion, the BEST place to find information about diagnoses, medications, treatments, research, mental health advocacy, mental health care policy, just about anything related to mental health.

What I want to point out especially in this post is that support groups are available for family, friends, caregivers, anyone who is touched by mental illness. NAMI keeps a state-by-state listing of local chapters. I encourage everyone and anyone with an interest in mental health check out their local chapter of NAMI. Please take advantage of the support groups available. And if there isn't a group in your area, START ONE! It isn't easy to share the special problems that mental illness can bring. Find others that will understand without judging. Erase the stigma of mental illness and talk about it! NAMI will help you get started.

And a quick shout out and big thank you to ariadneK, Ph.D. for the Mental Health Links section on her blog. I am ashamed to say that I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the organization last night, let alone find the link. But I get by with a little help from my friends! ;)

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