NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- NAMI-NYC (local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; Matt Kudish, executive director) marked the start of its 40th anniversary year with "Seeds of Hope: The Future of NAMI-NYC," a virtual celebration of 40 historic years of grassroots, peer-to-peer community engagement, service, advocacy, education, and fundraising support for its free mental health programs, helpline, and services to aid New Yorkers. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, NAMI-NYC has helped nearly 30,000 families and individuals — challenged by loss, food and housing insecurity, depression, grief, anxiety, and other related mental health conditions — build better lives. [Nearly 1.6M adult New Yorkers experience mental illness every year; Covid-19 has significantly impacted the demand for mental health services.]
WATCH "SEEDS OF HOPE" to hear deeply personal stories from Bob, Nina and Frances and the difference NAMI-NYC has made in their lives — like thousands of other participants, they are working with NAMI-NYC's community of trained volunteers and staff who are steadfast on the frontlines of mental health, to help New Yorkers and their families navigate life during these historically challenging times:
Bob Potter: "I was still in denial about my diagnosis. I really needed to reach out to somebody to stop my isolation. NAMI-NYC programs have made a real difference in my life. Starting from when I was first a participant, 15 years ago, in the peer-to-peer group, really made me be able to accept that I had a mental health diagnosis. And, it put me in a room of people who had maybe dissimilar diagnoses, but NAMI-NYC's structure was such that we all got to know each other's commonalities, to share experiences, as well as learn about mental illness."
Nina Rondon: "[The year] following college was the hardest year for me. I wasn't able to function the way that I would like to, especially since I'm re-establishing myself in the world, seeing my family, and living in my home for the first time in four years. Having these depressive symptoms of insomnia, feeling nauseous every day, and then I jumped into a high-stress job. I had a lot of anxiety. I was scrolling on Facebook and a NAMI-NYC ad popped up for 'Ending the Silence.' When I read it, I was like, 'This is what I want to do.' I want to talk to young people, especially teenagers, about the importance of mental health, the importance of checking in on yourself, knowing that it's okay to be gentle with yourself, it's okay to make mistakes. NAMI-NYC helped me gain my voice."
Frances Green: "By attending the NAMI-NYC family-to-family program, I learned that I'm not alone, because I didn't know anything about this mental health disorder. And, it really helped me be able to communicate because I had a better understanding of my loved one's mental illness."
"We are dedicated to building the future of our organization over the next 40 years as we look forward to 2022 with great determination and hope to serve even more people in our New York City community," said Matt Kudish. "NAMI-NYC will continue to advocate for a mental health system where those in need get access, free support, and resources they deserve." By 2024, NAMI-NYC aims to double its impact by providing vital programming and advocacy to 70,000 families and individuals.
Next year, NAMI-NYC will return to its in-person, marquee events: NAMIWALKS NYC (May 21, 2022), the largest mental health community fundraiser and awareness event of its kind in the US, held outdoors, annually in May at South Street Seaport; and the "Seeds of Hope" annual fundraising gala, planned for late fall.
NAMI-NYC's monthly events, peer support groups, family-to-family courses, and public education seminars are free and accessible to the public; bookmark this page to view the latest event line-up, dates, times, streaming platforms, and join the #MentalHealthForAll conversation.
Text to Give: NAMINYC to 917-382-9022
ABOUT NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS OF NEW YORK CITY (NAMI-NYC)
For 40 years, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of NYC has offered life-changing support, education, and advocacy programs to families and individuals affected by mental illness. NAMI-NYC's services are free of charge and accessible for anyone who needs them. For more information about NAMI-NYC and its programs and services, please visit naminyc.org.
PR Contact: Adriana Douzos, [email protected], 917-749-3977