“A few years ago I was struggling to understand some unusual behavior in a member of my immediate family when I heard about the death of a friend. At my friends memorial service I learned that he had taken his life after years of living with mental health issues of which I was never aware. A family member of his spoke out at the service, imploring anyone, or anyone with a family member, fighting mental health challenges to get help immediately.
Her brave words helped me to understand the enormity of the issue and became the impetus for our family to get help. I was very fortunate to find NAMI and a class called Family to Family which provides education and support for family members of someone living with a mental illness.
It was a revelation for me to find a class that not only gave me support; but also the tools to care for myself while doing my best to be a friend and brother. I have since completed additional training and am a volunteer Family to Family teacher myself.”