Published September 23, 2012
In Galveston and Brazoria counties alone, more than 150,000 people are affected by mental illness.
Out of those people, more than 50,000 people might be seeking treatment at any given time.
For this reason, NAMI Gulf Coast works diligently to help these families find the resources, education and support they might need.
A mental illness can overwhelm families and consume resources, especially in crisis. Mental illnesses such as bipolar, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety, to name a few, can be managed.
The community can envision mental illness like a four-legged stool, each leg represents support, community resources, education and medical care.
Without one leg, the stool will not function right. Families can get help, support, education and medication. That is why NAMI Gulf Coast exists.
In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise awareness about mental illness.
Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October in sponsoring many kinds of activities.
The hope is that participants will go forth, “Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives” at the community conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 5 at Moody Memorial First United Church, 2803 53rd St., in Galveston.
This unique conference will feature separate tracks for professionals (five CEUs provided), family members, individuals living with mental illness and the community.
The workshops in each track will host programs of interest specifically tailored to each group. The keynote luncheon speaker, Dr. Michael Fuller, will present “Choices in Recovery.”
Fuller serves as a faculty clinician and adviser for the Psychiatric Consultation and Liaison Service and has been a faculty member with the University of Texas Medical Branch since 1989.
Registration fees include lunch and are $45 for professionals, $35 for families affected by mental illness and $10 for individuals living with mental illness — which includes 5.0 CEUs.
Scholarships are available for individuals living with mental illness, families who care for children or an adult with a mental illness.
Registration is extended until Oct. 2. To register or for information, call 281-585-3100 or 409-944-4328, or email jmelis(at)namigulfcoast.org.
Jeanette Taylor is the executive director of NAMI Gulf Coast.
Copyright 2011 The Galveston County Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.