Get ' in' to mental health: Inspired, informed, involved
The Milton Independent - 5/5/2017
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont joins the nation in bringing the issue of mental health to the forefront.
In Vermont, one in five people will experience a mental health condition in their life, and one in 25 adults lives with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75 percent begin by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with the right treatments and supports.
" Mental health affects everyone; however, stigma can prevent people from seeking help or talking to friends and family about their challenges -feeling even more isolated. NAMI Vermont can help individuals and families bridge that gap through our support groups and educational classes that are peer-run. Knowing that other people may have the same experiences as you helps to know that ' You Are Not Alone',"
NAMI Vermont executive director Laurie Emeson said. " I am so inspired by our many volunteers who administer our free programs -their lived experience is an asset to the community that brings help and hope to families in crisis."
NAMI Vermont offers free support groups and mental health education in communities all over the state. Offerings include the following
NAMI Family Support Group: Monthly peer-led meeting for family members, partners and friends of individuals living with a mental health condition. Meets third Wednesday at 6 p.m. at The Community
Health Center Mt. Mansfield Conference Room (617 Riverside Ave., Burlington); second and fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Howard Center (855 Pine St., Burlington) and locally on the first Tuesday at Georgia Public Library (1697 Ethan Allen Highway, Georgia).
NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group: Weekly peer-led support group for people living with a mental health condition. Meets every Thursday at 3 p.m. at St. Paul's Cathedral (2 Cherry St., Burlington).
NAMI Family-to-Family: A free evidence-based, 12-week course for families, partners and friends of individuals living with mental illness throughout the state beginning in March and September.
" In Our Own Voice:" NAMI Vermont's newest program is a public education presentation in which peers share their stories of dark days and their road to recovery. To request an " In Our Own Voice" presentation in your community or to learn more about NAMI Vermont's programs, visit namivt.org/programs.
Pathways to Wellness Conference: NAMI Vermont's annual conference is Tuesday, May 16 at Champlain College Conference Center in Burlington. Registration is open, and scholarships are available for this event featuring workshops and two keynote addresses: " The Impact of Trauma on the Brain" with Mr. David Melnick, LICSW and " Suicide Prevention in a New Light: Matrix Treatment Planning and the Quest for Happiness" with Dr. Shawn Shea.
Join NAMI Vermont during Mental Health Awareness month to help build awareness of mental health and end stigma. For more information about mental health conditions and NAMI Vermont's resources for education, advocacy and support, visit www.namivt.org or contact us at 876-7949.