Mental Illness Matters

Update/Correction 6/01/10: Barbara LaPresti just informed me that the support group she recently took over is no longer NAMI-affiliated. Barbara also wanted to clarify that the support group is specifically for family members of people with metal illness/es. (I have corrected the purpose of the group in the original text below.)

So to reiterate, if you are having trouble dealing with a family member with a mental illness, and are in need of the knowledge and companionship of a support group, Barbara LaPresti facilitates such a group in Brandon.

Where: First United Methodist Church, Small Chapel, 121 Knights Ave.
When: 3rd Thursday of every month (next date: June 17th)
Contact: Barbara LaPresti at 813.494.4896

Mental health issues are among the unsexiest stories to write about. They range from depression, loneliness, and self esteem to the ugliest crimes humans commit on themselves and one another.

While some people will be personally affected because of their genetics, others will face such issues because of what life throws their way.

Take depression for example. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

Depression in some degree will affect between 10% and 20% of the population at some time during their lives, some as often as once or twice a year, with episodes that may last longer then six months each.

NAMI's Hillsborough County chapter has a group specifically for family members of people who suffer with mental illness(es). that meets once a month every third Thursday in Brandon. 

I spoke with Barbara on the phone this morning about the group. She said it offers research, guidance, and moral support for people whose lives are touched by mental health issues. Barbara added that the group helps "individuals peel away the mask and lets them share what they need to."

Mark your calendars for NAMI Hillsborough's next meeting on June 17th at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Small Chapel, 121 Knights Ave, Brandon, FL 33511.

NAMI, by the way, grades each state on their mental health services. Florida gets a big, fat D.

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