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Showing posts from July, 2010

SSNS 22nd Annual Conference

Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS) will hold its 22nd Annual Conference in Halifax, Canada on Friday, November 26, 2010 at Pier 21. The theme of the 2010 conference is Mental Illness: Why Me? And SSNS has invited me to speak at the conference! The invitation is an honor, I am very excited about the opportunity to speak.

More information will be posted on the site as planning develops. For sponsorship information contact Stephen Ayer at (902) 465-2601 or send an email to

For more information on schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

Intro. to the NAMI Walk

Today I went to a NAMI Georgia luncheon at Peachford Hospital about the NAMI Walk. I am so excited about the Walk which will take place September 18th. In fact, I plan on being a team leader, so wish me luck as continue to share my story and ask for financial support.

When the speaker asked us why we are walking I said several things: to fight stigma, for myself, support groups, and community. Fighting stigma is the ultimate goal, even though I am open about my diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia a lot of people are still unaware of what mental illness is or believe common misconceptions about mental illness. The most common misconceptions about schizophrenia is believing that all people who have the illness have split personality or are violent, which is NOT true. I want to continue to help overcome stigma by doing this NAMI Walk.

I have never done a NAMI Walk, but I am ready for the challenge so bring it on! I will give you more info. as the Walk approaches, until then get involved,…

Speaking Up

After reading a few books by the same author I was offended by the way mental health concerns were mentioned in a couple of their books so I emailed the author about my concerns. I am still a fan of the author I just wanted to voice my concerns to let them know it was offensive and hopefully they will be more sensitive about mental health. Below is the edited version of the letter I wrote, omiting the author's name and book titles...

Hello Ms. [Blank]:

I became an immediate fan of yours since I read [blank]. While I am a fan, I do have some concerns about the stigma you may be contributing to as it relates to mental health. For example, in [blank], you mentioned an ex-boyfriend who has schizophrenia and how he may desire to commit violence by burning down someone's house with them in it. I too have schizophrenia. I am not violent and I am an upstanding citizen through volunteer work.

In another work of yours, [blank], the main character wondered why her father could have had a me…

NAMI Connections Training Wrap Up

After the NAMI Connections facilitator training I feel empowered! We covered some touchy topics such as how to handle someone that is suicidal and other effective facilitator techniques. I especially liked the problem-solving strategies we learned to help someone in the support group who has a concern.

I have been to a few facilitator trainings, however, NAMI Connections was the most effective to me. Again, I got to meet people with similar desires to give back and to support others.

In short, NAMI Connections is a support group for 10 to 15 people living with a mental health diagnosis. The meeting lasts about 90 minutes. There you can get plenty of resources, support from other consumers, and express yourself and know that you are not alone.

Overall, the experience was great and I would strongly encourage other people who want to further advocate and contribute to the mental health community to get involved with NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness). Go NAMI!

If you would like …

NAMI Connections Training

I am still going through the NAMI GA Connections training and it is going very well. The hotel stay and food is great. I am meeting a lot of nice people and learning how to be an even better facilitator. I love NAMI! And I strongly encourage people living with a psychiatric diagnosis as well as family and friends to get involved.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, Inc., NAMI, or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

Unique Memories

After I shared my story with an interested party who is working on a project I thought of the many symptoms and situations I left out of my testimony...

I didn't tell him about the milk cartons, or the mind reading, and the images that made me do a quick u-turn. Now, I am in recovery mode I feel comfortable sharing the many experiences I recall during my episode with paranoid schizophrenia.

For example, I remember not believing what anyone told me concerning the date or other things. I felt like I had an intimate relationship with God to the extent that he sent me private messages, and that I can even have a greater understanding of Him. Instead of believing what people said the date was, I looked at milk cartons to get the real date, this was a message sent from God, I thought.

I remember going to church, like I usually did, however, communicating with the pastor's wife through my mind. I looked at her, and knew she understood me. Strangely, I even thought she may think I would …

Everything is Well

I am well. Staying busy. The Peer-to-Peer group is coming to an end. We have a great group, attendance is high and everyone is enthusiatic about the group.

If you live in Georgia, you may want to take advantage of a NAMI Georgia Connections training July 16-18, 2010 at Mercer University. Please visit the NAMI Georgia website for details at

I hope everyone enjoyed the fourth of July!