NAMI Augusta in the Community.

Volunteering at the homeless stand down.

NAMI Augusta at work!

On Friday,  October 7th, 2014, NAMI Augusta participated in the Salvation Army’s Stand down for the homeless.  This is an annual event that offers a variety of resources to individuals living in our community. NAMI was there to provide information on Mental Illness.   We had a great time. NAMI was able to reach out to individuals and other community organizations to share who we are, and the services we offer.

On Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, Serenity Behavioral Health held a Health Fair that focused on HIV, Depression, and Mental Illness.  Our volunteers were there to represent NAMI Augusta and to continue building community ties   The event offered free HIV testing and counseling.   Information on Depression and Mental Illness was also provided to individuals.

Participating in these events have allowed NAMI Augusta to reach out, Educate, Support and Advocate for those living with Mental Illness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAMI Augusta is on the move, we are here to stay!

Hello, My name is Ann and I am currently President of NAMI Augusta,  I know there has been much confusion about NAMI Augusta.  So please allow me a moment to clear up the confusion. I first and foremost would like to apologize.  I took this position over without being aware of all the job duties and responsibilities. Since then, I have been in education mode and I have learned a lot, so I ask that you all not give up on me, because I will definitely not give up on NAMI.  I would first like to share my passion which is why I am fighting so hard to make this a successful organization.  I am an individual who is living with mental illness and had it not been for the great assistance I received at Serenity Behavioral Health, I would not be in the position I currently find myself.  I am so grateful to find people who had a great passion for helping others and giving their best to provide HOPE to individuals such as myself who had long ago lost hope. I can never pay them back so I will pay it forward.  I also invite those of you who have a passion for helping others and working hard to make a difference, to please call the NAMI Augusta Office at 706.733.8838. We are looking for Volunteers, Board Members, Committee Members, and anyone else who is willing to carry the torch.  My experience has shown me that by helping others, I am able to help myself.  We can also be reached by email at NAMIAugusta@gmail.com or my personal email is alewisnami@gmail.com.  Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are currently offering three support groups which are free and open to the public, support groups offer the opportunity to share with one another difficulties we face living with Mental Illness.  It helps us to know “I am not alone!” The groups, dates, times and contact information will be listed below:

 

Family Support Group for adult relatives of people living with mental illness. This group meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 6:30-8:00 PM at the Advent Lutheran Church, 3232 Washington Road, Augusta GA.  This group is open to family members only. Contact info: Pam Lien 706.664.9535 cell.

Thompson NAMI Connection Support Group (peer support for adults who are diagnosed with mental illness)  This group meets every Monday form 10:00-11:30 AM at Springfield Baptist Church, 523 Martin Luther King St. Thompson GA Contact info: Mrs. Wiley 706.595.6552 or 706.361.7052

Caring and Sharing is an open support group.  This group is for individuals who are living with mental illness, family members, and anyone who would just like to learn about mental illness.  This group takes place at 11:00 AM on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month at the Summerville Professional Building, Room 420.  The location is 2258 Wrightsboro Rd. Augusta GA, next to Trinity Hospital.  Contact info: Ann Lewis 706.691.1047

Your One Wild and Precious Life…

Written by Amanda Schick

“No matter what, there’s always a new day, a clean slate, an opportunity to begin again and vibrantly live out our “one wild and precious life.”” -Kelle Hampton

Thank the Lord for this. New mornings. New beginnings. Chances to start over again. How blessed we truly are. And He gives us the opportunity to live our lives to the fullest each day. I just finished re-reading a book called Bloom. It is by my favorite blog author, Kelle Hampton. Though her experience was different than mine (a child unexpectedly born with Down Syndrome), I find that a lot of her thoughts and words resonate with what I went through being hospitalized and diagnosed with a mental illness.

She speaks of letting your pain shape you and turn you into a more beautiful person. She says that we have one wild and precious life and that it is our responsibility to make the most of it. She has faced adversity and triumphed. I have faced adversity and triumphed. Although I do not want my illness to define me, I do want it to allow me to turn into a stronger person. It was not an ideal way to grow and change, but it caused me to do so. And even though the process was not enjoyable I wouldn’t trade what I have learned and I wouldn’t trade the person I have become through it.

Thanks, Kelle, for sharing your inspiring thoughts with the masses. I know there are others out there who also relate to her beautiful words.

If You Are a College Student or You Know One…Read This!

college boy with booksMichelle Hamill is the guest writer for this blog and a Senior at Georgia Regents University.

Considering the amount of pressure placed on college students by their families, society, and their own ambitions, it is not surprising that mental illness is rather common within the young adult population. The most common mental illnesses that afflict college students are depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And furthermore…

Mental illness is common among young people. One in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 has a diagnosable mental illness.

Visiting a mental health professional is commonplace and well-advised. Seek out help. More than 25 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the past year.

College life is overwhelming and can be oppressive. More than 11 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the past year and more than 10 percent reported being diagnosed or treated for depression.

If you’re stressed and overworked, you’re not alone. More than 80 percent of college students felt overwhelmed by all they had to do in the past year and 45 percent have felt things were hopeless.

If you can personally relate to these statistics, hopefully you now realize that the next step is to seek out help. In our present day and age, sifting through the vast landscape of information and resources online can be daunting, especially considering the meager free time we college students have on our hands. In my attempt to simplify that process, I’ve compiled some resources in the area and online:

  • For GRU Students: The Counseling Center provides free individual counseling services for students and employees. Visit them on the Summerville Campus in the Central Utilities Building Annex, 2nd floor, or call them at 706-737-1471. Additional information can be found at http://www.aug.edu/counseling/index.php
  • If you need to talk to someone sooner, call the 24-Hour Crisis Line serving East Central Georgia – 706-560-2943.
  • ULifelife is a great resource for college students seeking information about mental, physical, and emotional health as well as mental health resources specifically for college students. Visit their website at http://www.ulifeline.org/.

HEY, FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF COLLEGE STUDENTS:

Your words and actions towards college students could affect their successful completion of a degree. Here are some statistics that demonstrate why:

64 percent of young adults who are no longer in college are not attending college because of a mental health related reason.

40 percent of students with diagnosable mental health conditions did not seek help.

Concern of stigma is the number one reason students do not seek help.

Individuals living with mental illness are often afraid to seek help. They may fear stigmatization or disappointment, misunderstanding, and anger on the part of their friends and family. Be supportive.

Understand that college students have to deal with problems that they never before encountered. They have a heavier workload than ever before, are often pulled away from familiarity, friends, and family, and at the end of their education are greeted by debt with a side of unpromising job prospects. Realize that they are making the difficult transition from childhood to the responsibilities of adulthood. Listen to their problems and make an effort to understand, no matter how foreign their troubles may seem.

Learn about mental illness and how it specifically affects college students as well as how you can help at http://www.ulifeline.org/.

Resources I consulted:

http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Find_Support/NAMI_on_Campus1/collegereport.pdf

http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Learn_About_The_Issue&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=146782