According to NAMIGO there are approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. Typically, people think of mental disorders as the extreme end, however depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and attention deficit disorder are part of the statistics that make up those that have a mental disorder. The mission of NAMIGO is “to improve the quality of life of individuals, their families, loved ones and caregivers affected by mental health conditions through education, support and advocacy.”
The opportunity to work with this client was incredible for personal reasons. We all know of someone with a mental disorder in our family. My family is no different, disclosing it is a personal matter and it is important to have a safe place to share. In my family, depression, bipolar and a suicide attempt are all part of those statistics. When I started working with this client, I signed up for the Family-to-Family class. When I finished with the class, I understood my family dynamics and how to help others with mental disorders.
NAMI offers educational classes for NAMI Peer-to-Peer (for those with mental disorders), NAMI Family-to-Family (family members that have a family member with a mental disorder), NAMI Ending the Silence (helps students under 18 that have attempted suicide), NAMI Support Groups (individuals and family), NAMI Parents & Teachers as Allies (training for educators to identify mental disorders), and other educational classes and training. If you are experiencing symptoms or know someone that displays symptoms here are some things to consider when reaching out:
If it's an emergency in which you or someone you know is suicidal, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
If you can wait a few days, make an appointment with your primary healthcare provider or pediatrician if you think your condition is mild to moderate.
If symptoms are moderate to severe, make an appointment with a specialized doctor such as a psychiatrist. You may need to contact a community mental health center or primary health care provider for a referral.
If you or your child is in school or at college, contact the school and ask about their support services.
Seek out support groups in your community and educate yourself about your symptoms and diagnosis. Social support and knowledge can be valuable tools for coping.
For more information about NAMI Greater Orlando, their educational programs, volunteer opportunities, and to sponsor or make a donation visit their website at www.namigreaterorlando.org or call 407-253-1900.