The Ribbon Campaign

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

Find Help. Find Hope.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all individuals and families whose lives are affected by mental illness.  NAMI Columbia County is the local affiliate.

The Ribbon Campaign:

NAMI’s Mental Health Awareness Ribbon Campaign, piloted in 2013, is an anti- stigma initiative designed to bring the topic of mental illness in our communities to the forefront, assist individuals and families to find help and support, and to facilitate open and honest dialogue about the subject.  YOUR help is needed to make this a success in our County for the benefit of all residents.

What you can do:

  1. Come to the April 14 NAMI-CC Educational Meeting at 7 pm; Solaris – 360 Warren St., Hudson, to help us make white NAMI ribbon bows.
  2. In early May, help us put the bows up in places where the public will see them. This could be public buildings (libraries, post offices, etc) or private buildings (banks, stores, etc).  You must ask permission before putting the ribbons up.  The bows will have NAMI-CC contact information on them.
  3. Take the bows down at the end of May, and thank the location for allowing us to put them up. Return bows to NAMI-CC for future use.

Mental illnesses are brain and behavior disorders that cross all ethnic, religious, racial and economic barriers. Mental illness does not discriminate!  The brain is an important and complex organ in the body.  It is responsible for regulating the functioning of all the other organs. The symptoms of a mental illness encompass one’s perception, thought, language, emotion, volition and creativity.  1 in 4 adults experiences mental challenges in a given year and 1 in 17 live with a serious and chronic mental illness.  1 in 5 children age 13-18 experiences a mental health disorder in a given year.  Without intervention, child and adolescent disorders frequently continue into adulthood.  About ½ of the adults who have a diagnosable mental health disorder will also have a substance abuse disorder at some point during their lifetime.  Statistics from NAMI National, NIMH, US Dept. of Veteran Affairs

NAMI’s services are free of charge. They include:

  • Family to Family (F2F): An educational program for families and caregivers of adults with mental illness
  • NAMI Basics: Educational program for families and caregivers of children and adolescents with mental illness (currently not available in Columbia County)
  • Family Support Groups   Two held per month (Chatham and Hudson)
  • Parents and Teachers As Allies (PTAA): NAMI’s signature school outreach workshop (currently not available in Columbia County)
  • In Our Own Voice (IOVV): People with mental illness integrate their stories into a professional program at hospitals, businesses, schools, and other community organizations
  • Monthly Educational meetings
  • Information Help Line: Early identification and intervention can sharply improve outcomes and result in a substantially shorter and less disabling course of illness.
  • Peer run support for people actively dealing with mental illness is available thru the Apogee Center (apogee.org)

***Your help with the Ribbon Campaign would be greatly appreciated.  If you are interested in volunteering, contact Pat Anders at:  namiccny@gmail.com, or phone 336-0246, or come to the bow making meeting on April 14th. Thank you for  your help!