NAMI Indiana State Conference

Sep 04

The NAMI Indiana 2015 State Conference: Assessing the Past, Gaining Hope for the Future is fast approaching. Here are the details:

Date: September 25, 2015
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Place: Indianapolis Marriott North
3645 River Crossing Parkway
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Registration fee: $55 (includes breakfast and lunch)

Click here for additional details.

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Nobody Needs to Know

Aug 24

I recently bumped into a fellow in Indianapolis who is in a play about mental illness called “Nobody Needs to Know.” (I was wearing my NAMI-WCI t-shirt, and he introduced himself.) It’s a forty minute, one-act play by Carol A. Bozena, LCSW, funded in part by a grant from The Mental Health Association of CT.

The purpose of the project is to help educate, normalize, empower and support others through performance. After each performance, a trained facilitator will lead the audience in discussion of issues raised during the performance.

Irvington United Methodist Church
30 N Audubon Rd, Indianapolis 46219
Saturday, September 19th
5:00pm – 6:30pm

North United Methodist Church
3808 N Meridian St, Indianapolis 46208
Friday, September 25th
7:00pm – 8:30pm

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NAMI-WCI Fall Classic Walk/Run

Aug 23

Join us for the NAMI Fall Classic Walk/Run on Sunday, October 12, at the former Lafayette Municipal Golf Course. Enjoy the 5K or 1-Mile event while advocating for mental illness awareness. Register for either event here! The NAMI Fall Classic caps off National Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct 5-11). NEW: Register as a “Valued Virtual Walker” if you wish not to participate but want to make an impact!

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In Our Own Voice at Crawfordsville Kiwanis

Aug 04

Kiwanis in Crawfordsville will be hosting NAMI’s In Our Own Voice during its meeting on Thursday, August 21.

NAMI In Our Own Voice (IOOV) unmasks mental illness, using speaker stories to illustrate the individual realities of living with mental illness. You gain a better understanding of what it is like to live with mental illness and stay in recovery. NAMI In Our Own Voice can change attitudes, preconceived notions and stereotypes regarding mental illness.

Crawfordsville Kiwanis meetings are open to the public. Lunch will be served at 11:30 am, followed by a brief business meeting at noon, which will be followed by the In Our Own Voice Presentation.

Date: Thursday, August 21
Time: Lunch @ 11:30 am, meeting starts at 12:00 noon
Place: Crawfordsville Public Library (Basement) 205 South Washington

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Meeting Recap

May 09

Five people attended last night’s meeting. To honor our group guideline #3 of absolute confidentiality, I’m not at liberty to disclose details of who shared what during our meeting, but the main question we discussed was how to talk about mental illness to loved ones who either think they know everything or are judgmental. This question actually falls into two categories:

  • Whether to disclose and to whom.
  • How to disclose.

I posted some time ago “Disclosure in the Workplace,” which generated some insightful discussion. Here, I’d like for people to share any insights and tips about disclosing to family members and other loved ones.

The following sections contain some suggestions gleaned from Bipolar Disorder For Dummies on disclosure in the workplace that are also relevant to talking about mental illness outside the workplace.

Choosing Whether to Disclose and to Whom

You may be able to gauge how receptive people will be by considering their past behaviors and comments they have made about mental illness. If they have demonstrated empathy for others who have had similar conditions, you may predict that they will treat your situation with care and understanding, as well. If they’ve done or said things that reveal a lack of understanding, they probably will not understand or have compassion for your situation.

If you hear someone describe a person with mental illness as a “nut job,” for instance, that’s not somebody you want to open up to. The person is obviously ignorant of mental health issues and needs some education, but not at your expense.

How to Talk About Mental Illness

Here are some suggestions on how to talk about mental illness if you choose to do so:

  • Play the role of teacher. Take a non-confrontational approach to presenting the facts about the illness.
  • Start by disclosing your condition to the people you trust most and those who seem more understanding and open minded.
  • Keep in mind that you control exactly how much you choose to disclose to each individual. You don’t have to tell everyone everything. Readiness to receive information varies depending on the individual.
  • If you’re the one who has the illness, describe the way you feel when you are experiencing symptoms. Nobody can argue or become defensive when you simply describe how the illness makes you feel.
  • Describe common symptoms you have. How is your behavior or the behavior of your loved one likely to change when you’re symptomatic? By describing symptoms, you accomplish two things. First, you let people know what to expect, so they are better prepared to handle any behavioral changes. Second, you enlist them in helping you spot early warning signs, which you may not notice when you’re feeling manic or depressed.
  • Share information about the treatment you’re seeking and what the goals of that treatment are. Many people with mental illness are “just like everyone else” when they receive effective treatment. Most people don’t know that.
  • Keep in mind that it may take some time for the people you tell to absorb the information you provide and even longer for them to accept it and change as a result.
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Volunteers for Mental Health in Montgomery County

May 08

Volunteers for Mental Health in Montgomery County (VMHMC) has a meeting tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 20 at 7:00 pm at the Crawfordsville Public Library. I’m not sure in which room the meeting will be. I’ll post more details as soon as I know.

Kitty will be presenting at the meeting to inform attendees about what NAMI has to offer in Crawfordsville. Cecie and I will be attending, as well. I’m interested in finding out more about VMHMC. If you’re available, please come to the meeting to show your support.


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New Bipolar Stem Cell Research

Apr 08

Dr. Fink just posted an interesting article on a new study that sheds light on how genes may contribute to the eventual development of bipolar disorder. Her blog post is entitled “Stem Cell Research Sheds Light on Genetic Factor in Bipolar Disorder.”

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