For thirty-five years, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Southeast Minnesota has been serving community members living with mental illness, as well as those that support and care for them, through a variety of per-to-peer support, referral assistance, and education programming. Founded in 1986 by the Schut family, themselves touched by the challenges mental illness can bring, NAMI Southeast Minnesota continues to help people at any stage of their mental health journey. People like Molly:
Life was going along just fine for 25-year-old Molly. She was working, hanging out with friends and had just begun a relationship with a guy she really liked. She felt like this was it; she was successfully building her life as an independent adult.
Slowly, things began to change. She felt a little down. Then she couldn't pull herself out of bed, let alone go to work or see any of her friends. A week went by, then two, then a month. She was out of sick time and desperate to feel better. She made an appointment with a psychiatrist. It took several weeks to be seen, but finally she was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. Having a name for it helped, but this was just the beginning of managing her illness and returning to the outgoing, thriving woman she had been.
Molly became aware of NAMI Southeast Minnesota, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Here, she would have access to supplemental support services free of charge. She started attending support groups, facilitated by people who, like her, had lived experience with mental health struggles. She took the Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education course, developing a relapse prevention plan and a toolkit of ideas to identify and respond to worsening symptoms. Her boyfriend and parents attended the Family Support Group when they needed help responding to her illness. In time, Molly joined the Speakers Bureau, using her own journey with mental illness to fight the myths and stigma that all toften keep people from getting the support they deserve in times of crisis and struggle.
Each year, NAMI Southeast Minnesota helps thousands of people like Molly. Your donation helps cover the costs of the variety of programs available to people living with mental illness, their families and friends, and the broader SE Minnesota community. As COVID continues to radically alter how we move through the world and connect, it is particularly urgent now that we offer support to anyone who needs it, regardless of formal diagnosis.
But more than that, your donation is an investment in hope. Let people know they are not alone; donate today!