In advance of May being National Mental Health Awareness Month, the local affiliate of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization is bringing a free 90-minute presentation to Washington C.H. on Wednesday, April 18 at The Center for Economic Opportunity.
“We are excited to present NAMI’s ‘In Our Own Voice’ to the people of Fayette County,” said Lance Cranmer, NAMI Southern Ohio’s executive director. “The presentation demonstrates how individuals with severe mental illness experience recovery. Each presenter has been through training to translate the story of his or her own struggles and successes.”
The Southern Ohio affiliate of NAMI – which stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness – is a contracted service provider of the Paint Valley ADAMH board that provides free mental health groups and services to the residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.
“It is our hope that we can connect with people who have personal experiences with mental illness – whether it be themselves or a family member or friend – and don’t know where to turn for help,” Cranmer said. “NAMI Southern Ohio offers many programs to help learn more about mental illness and find a path to recovery.”
Cranmer added that NAMI Southern Ohio currently offers Family Support Group and the NAMI Connection programs in Ross County and a Peer-to-Peer program in Pickaway County. Starting a regular weekly program in Fayette County is now one of the non-profit organization’s top priorities.
“Mental health and well-being is such a huge topic right now,” Cranmer said. “One of NAMI’s most critical goals across the nation is erasing the stigma around mental health and letting people know it is OK to talk about it and to find a best path toward recovery.”
Three NAMI speakers – each of whom lives with a mental illness diagnosis – will give a presentation about their personal stories at the April 18 event. Doors at The Center for Economic Opportunity, located at 101 E. East St. in Washington C.H., will open at 5:45 and the presentations will start shortly after 6 p.m. The event is free to the public. Please note that the building is currently undergoing ground floor renovations and that the event will be held in the upstairs meeting room.
NAMI has over 1,100 affiliates in communities across the country, including 39 in the state of Ohio. Together, NAMI members engage in support, education, advocacy and research.
To find out more about the event or how to become a NAMI volunteer or member, contact NAMI Southern Ohio’s Chillicothe office at (740) 851-4242.