What NAMI-NYC Means To Me - NAMI-NYC

What NAMI-NYC Means To Me

NAMI-NYC has changed the way my family and I talk about mental health. One year, I decided to participate in NAMIWalks. It was a positive event where people came together to celebrate community and acknowledge mental illness without shame or stigma. I wanted to get involved in a greater capacity. I applied to become an Advocacy Ambassador, where NAMI-NYC trains us to talk to our elected representatives. During these meetings, we explain why we need to invest in the City’s mental health care system and end police response to mental health emergencies.

In the Caribbean household I grew up in, like in many communities of color, no one talked about mental illness. That topic was completely off limits. As a teenager, I was experiencing depression. When I was hospitalized, I felt so lost. I also have family members living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We had difficult experiences when we called the police for help and instead were placed in a dangerous situation.

After learning about NAMI-NYC, our lives changed for the better. We were able to acknowledge what was happening and have conversations about mental health. The NAMI-NYC community has been a guiding light for me and it’s comforting to know there are others going through the same experiences that I am.

As the year comes to a close, please consider making a donation to NAMI-NYC. Your gift in any amount is a lifeline to New Yorkers struggling with their mental health and their families through classes, support groups, and Helpline providing resources and guidance on how to navigate the NYC mental health system. Your gift will also help break the stigma and help us advocate for mental health care for all New Yorkers.