Hold on. That is what I continually tell myself as I navigate through life. I have had more than my share of life-altering setbacks and have had people, including therapists, ask how I am still standing? It is not until recently that I can say it is because I tell myself to hold on. Many times, when the world feels as though it is caving in on me, I make it to bed and tell myself tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start, a new beginning. I can’t express how challenging life became holding it ALL in.
Feeling isolated, as though I was the only one or no one would understand, I slowly learned I am not the only one, and although you may not fully understand, it is my story and my feelings, and they matter! I began letting others in by going to therapy, al-anon, and opening up. I have learned that I definitely am not the only one.
EVERYBODY has a story EVERYBODY hurts. So why? Why is it that, as a country in this day and age, we shut down/feel shame when we talk about mental health? There is a realm of mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety, yet when we say mental illness, we conjure up horrific thoughts and don’t discuss it. We go into a shame spiral. Again, why do we do that? Everyone feels sadness, grief, and even passing feelings of hopelessness or despair; they are all part of the human experience.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)- Mental Health Matters
Statistics show that one in four adults experiences an episode of mental illness per year. Mental illness can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or socioeconomic status. Individuals diagnosed and undiagnosed with mental illness are those around us- our neighbors, our friends, family, and co-workers.
In the United States, four million children and adolescents suffer from a severe mental disorder that causes significant functional impairments at home, school, and with peers.
Mental health disorders account for more disability than any other illness, including cancer and heart disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, NAMI is an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations, and volunteers who work in our community to raise awareness and provide support and education to those in need. All of the services and programs that they provide are FREE! One voice at a time! We as a society need to start talking to remove the stigma of mental health. We help one another when we begin chatting.
At Integrity Billing, we believe mental health awareness lies within every community, which is why we are a Silver Sponsor. Integrity Billing is a top donor/team participating in the NAMI Walks 5k Walk/Run yearly. Team Integrity C.A.R.E.S. was created by Lorinda Yorlano. Lorinda was our team’s driving force, and NAMI was a program she loved, supported, and believed in. Lorinda had a dual diagnosis of depression and substance abuse and passed in 2019. We walk in memory of her. Help us end the stigma of mental illness. Help us today by sharing, opening up, and starting to talk.
All donations are appreciated and make a difference! You can help us reach our goal. Again, NAMI’s programs are all free. Your donation helps raise awareness of mental illness and also helps support our local organization to empower persons with mental illness and their families so they can continue to receive all programs at no cost. Visit NAMI here. Help us support NAMI in the hope that we can replace ignorance, stigma, and hopelessness with knowledge, empathy, and understanding.