“NAMI”: A Light of Hope for People With Mental Illness

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Mario Jiménez Castillo

El Observador

NAMI is National Alliance on Mental Illness. This nonprofit organization was founded in 1975, and today it includes hundreds of members throughout the United States. The main purpose of NAMI is to provide support, help, understanding and education to individuals, and their families, who are suffering due to mental illness. It is believed that 40 million people in the United States experience, or will experience, an episode of depression sometime in their lives. Also, 14 million people in this country are struggling with some form of severe mental illness. Many people who suffer with mental problems don’t know where to go for help and/or treatment. NAMI, offers courses and workshops completely free to those who are in need of their services.

Lourdes Robles, who is the coordinator of the peer to peer program, which was designed to give support to people living with mental illness, said that there is much needed help, especially from people who have been in that situation and have recovered or are on the road to recovery, such persons can be of great support for the patients since they themselves have experienced some form of mental illness and know how it feels. They have been there. Jennifer Tercero, a family therapist, advise those with mental problems to seek help in those type of institutions, “Mental Illnesses are treatable and if there is support from family and friends, the treatments are usually successful, said, Jennifer”.

She also advises the patients to seek spirituality, eat a healthy diet and practice some form of exercise. The first symptoms that can be present in mental illness is insomnia and depression, both go hand in hand, one can produce the other and vice versa. Constant irritability, isolation, and long periods of suffering can also be catalysts for a mental illness to occur. For decades, NAMI, has given support to many patients with these types of problems, this institution is a light of hope for all those who suffer with any form of mental illness.

For more information about NAMI and its programs, you can visit their website at https://namisantaclara.org/ or call their number (408) 453 0400. NAMI’s workshops, support and courses, are also offered in Spanish.