For Mental Health Month, Donna Stamper, Public Health Council partner and volunteer with the NAMI Upper Valley Affiliate Support Group, submitted the following Letter to the Editor to the Valley News. It appeared in the Forum on Wednesday, May 08, 2019. We reprint here with permission of the writer.
Because May is Mental Health Month, and because 46.6 million adults in the United States experience a mental health condition in any given year, I want to share some local resources for families looking for support, information, education and advocacy opportunities for themselves and for their loved ones with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
These illnesses are treatable, but fewer than half get the help they need. Earlier efforts can save lives and reduce suffering.
Local Resources for Mental Health Help
Here are some ways to find help and hope.
Support Groups Around the Upper Valley
The NAMI Upper Valley Affiliate Support Group is for families and friends of adults who have or are coping with symptoms of mental illness and is led by NAMI-trained family member volunteers. Attending a support group is a form of self-care and a way to learn from others facing similar challenges. There are two meetings a month, on the second Monday and the last Wednesday, both from 5:45-7:45 p.m., at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
The NAMI Claremont Family Support Group meets on the first Thursday of each month, from 6-7:30 p.m., at Valley Regional Hospital, in the Buckley conference room.
The NAMI Connections Peer to Peer Support Group is for adults with a mental illness who support one another by sharing stories with a focus on wellness. This meeting is the second Monday of each month. from 5:45-7:15 p.m., also at DHMC.
Online Resource for the Upper Valley
See uvmentalhealth.org for contact information for these groups (click on “Support Groups”), as well as resources and events related to mental health topics.