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NAMIWalks Grand Rapids

August 30, 2016

 

We are excited to participate in the 13th annual NAMIWalks Michigan on Saturday, September 10th at Davenport University in Grand Rapids.  We invite all West Michigan area citizens, businesses, places of worship and schools to join us to raise mental health awareness.  NAMIWalks brings together families, individuals, co-workers and businesses to help raise funds, combat stigma and promote awareness.  NAMIWalks is the nation's largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising event. Public display of support for people with mental health challenges helps to change how Americans view mental illness. Please join us as we improve lives and our communities one step at a time.  Participation in this event is FREE, however, we encourage donations from family members, friends, co-workers and business associates.

 

Please click on the link below to make a donation.  

Emerging HOPE NAMI Page Link:  http://www.namiwalks.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=41231

 

Emerging HOPE has hosted Eight Annual Mental Health Forums at strategic locations in Kalamazoo County.  The aim of the Mental Health Forums is to decrease mental health stigma and increase awareness of mental health recovery.

The Robinson’s believe with the right tools, everyone can be an advocate for individuals to access needed resources. They desire to inspire others with a message of hope and walk alongside them in their struggle with mental illness.

One in four adults, approximately 61.5 million Americans, experience mental illness in a given year. One in 17, about 13.6 million, live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year. For ages 8 to 15, the estimate is 13 percent. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. (more common than homicide) and the third leading cause of death for ages 15 to 24 years. More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders. Early identification and treatment are of vital importance. Yet stigma keeps many from seeking help. Stigma erodes confidence that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions.

We have allowed stigma and a now unwarranted sense of hopelessness to erect attitudinal, structural and financial barriers to effective treatment and recovery. It is time to take these barriers down.

The onset and subsequent diagnosis of mental illness impacts families as well as the individual. Families with a member with mental illness and/or developmental disabilities often do not know where to turn for help. Understanding and coping with the illness, as well as the search for services and support, drains them spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially. Often relationships with extended family members and friends are strained. The illness itself and the associated stigma of mental illness can lead to feelings of guilt, denial, grief, isolation and loss of hope. 

People who live with mental illness are disproportionately impacted by the social injustices of prejudice, poverty, inadequate housing, unemployment or underemployment, lack of access to health care, especially mental health care, and inequalities within the criminal justice system.

As a healing community we can support people with mental illness and their families with unconditional love in a number of ways:

  • Increasing our awareness of mental illnes and its impact on the lives of individuals and their families.

  • Identifying mental health resources and services in the community.

  • Offering prayers for and support to individuals and families.

  • Creating ministries of spiritual support.

  • Serving on church committees for outreach to individuals and families.

  • Getting involved in peer-to-peer ministry and advocating on mental health issues. 

More Americans are seeking mental health treatment: According to Curtis Robinson, Emerging HOPE Co-Director, "We've made progress in people's attitudes toward getting mental health treatment or seeking it for their loved ones," however,  "But cost, lack of insurance and access still can be barriers for people in getting the help they need."

Respondents to the poll-- an online survey of 300 randomly selected recipients between the ages of 18 and 64 of the Emerging HOPE Mental  Forums, pointed to cost, lack of confidence that treatment helps and lack of health insurance as treatment barriers.

Moreover, 50% reported that stigma about seeking mental health treatment is increasingly less of an obstacle to getting treatment. Indeed, 48 percent of those polled reported a visit to a mental health professional by someone in their household this last year, and more than nine out of 10--91 percent--said they would likely consult or recommend a mental health professional if they or a family member were experiencing a problem.  The survey also found that: Eighty-five percent of respondents thought that health insurance should cover mental health services.  Ninety-seven percent of respondents considered access to mental health services "important," but only 70 percent feel they have adequate access to mental health care.  Only 30 percent of respondents were concerned about other people finding out if they sought mental health treatment, and 20 percent said that stigma is "a very important reason not to seek help" from a mental health professional. Nearly half of those polled--47 percent--said that the stigma surrounding mental health services has decreased in recent years.

 

Thanks you for your support,

 

Curtis and Pamela 

 

 

 

 

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