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July 5, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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July 5, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

After a giant meltdown in 2005, I had to relocate from RI to FL. Nothing was really helping me move forward; I was relatively stable, but that was it. I had gone through decades of therapy, individual and group, with psychiatrists and psychologists while in New England. However, it was the Peer to Peer course that really changed my life. I gained insight that had been lacking. I was given back the power to control my illness. I am MORE than my illness. NAMI Florida has trained me to be a Peer to Peer educator less than one year ago and I am currently teaching my THIRD course. I do this because I love helping others as it helps ME. NAMI Florida has also trained me to be a Provider Educator. NAMI has made me feel valued and given me back my confidence. Florida is a giant state and finally, I'm starting to feel connected to my "new" home, instead of wishing I were back North. I thank NAMI Florida (and NAMI Lee County) for making me part of their community and in turn, part of the communities all over Florida, as well as the towns and cities in my county.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing others gain insight into their illnesses, realizing that not only am I not alone, but by helping others, I help them realize they are not alone. Mental illness feeds on isolation and stigma. I see not only in myself, but in others, personal growth and hope because we address isolation and stigma in our Peer to Peer classes.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Emphasize that NAMI has essentially two perspectives and perhaps even two goals/missions (or integrate them better). What is best for family members is not always best for those of us dealing and coping with MI and vice versa. Understanding and addressing this messy reality may help with communication between families and those of us dealing with MI.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Ensuring that the skills I have to offer are utilized and continue to make me feel like a "regular" person; not a second class citizen.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

My experience made me realize how much I enjoy speaking to groups of people. Although I have huge amounts of anxiety and occasional panic attacks prior to classes and presentations, once I get going, I believe I do a wonderful job communicating. I also do not like making new "friends" - being involved in NAMI has helped me adjust and start to trust people so that perhaps someday, I will eagerly WANT new "friends" and not feel it is a burden.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

This experience has made me feel valuable again. I can have a life and a career. It may not be the life and career I thought I would have, but it will one that I chose and that makes me happy. I didn't think that was possible.

June 26, 2012

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June 26, 2012

To us has been given that which has been denied the most learned of our fellows. Not to scientists or statesmen, not even to our priests or ministers have this gift of healing been entrusted. This gift is used unselfishly and carries grave responsibilities.
Talk is the easiest used of all
talents with which was endowed to mankind. Yes, the world is filled with better qualified, but we were selected because we are the outcasts and our long experience as such has made us humbly alert to the cries of distress. Therefore, We keep in mind the admission of our powerlessness.
My capicity with NAMI FLORIDA has now become stagnant because society at large fears me, even tho i have not harmed myself or others in over 30yrs. NAMI HAS HELPED ME DO THIS. TAKE IT FOR WHAT ITS WORTH. Iain Ocasio who was once a volunteer; Board Member; Connections Facilitator; P2P mentor and Provider Education Specailist. Thank you to all who had a part in my Recovery.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See Review

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Lobby for a decriminlation of MI

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Knock out the LAW THAT SAYS I CANNOT EVEN VOLUNTEER.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

PLEASE DETERMINE FOR YOUR SELF

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

BLESSED

June 25, 2012

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June 25, 2012

I gave NAMI FL at least 20 to 25 hours a week if not more as a volunteer. At first things were fine but then they began to deteriorate. I was yelled at, belitted, put down, harrassed and was told they could not deal with my mood. I was told to leave and never come back. I was blamed for things I did not do by the person who actually made the mistakes. This agencies only deal with people they want to and do not really care about people with mental illness.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unlikely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 22, 2012

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June 22, 2012

My daughter became ill with bipolar disorder when she was 12 yrs old. On the recommendation of an out-of-state friend, I took the NAMI Family-to-Family course in Orlando, FL. The leaders were very well prepared and supportive. The Family-to-Family program helped me understand my daughter's illness, and ease the tremendous stress in our family. I have since attended NAMI Family Support groups, and again, I appreciate having group leaders who are prepared for their role. The meetings run smoothly, on time, and addresses the needs of the group. Because I benefitted so much from these programs, my husband and I have become volunteers at the annual NAMI Walk in our area. Fortunately, our daughter is doing better now after years of being very unstable. NAMI does great work in our area. I recently referred a friend to the Family-to-Family course. She is prepared to take the course immediately, and has an urgent need. unfortunately, she is on a "waiting list" for a future course offering, due to the great demand I our area.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my personal life, and my family life. It has been a key source of support as we raised a teen with schizo affective disorder to adulthood.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand programs

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I have had good experiences as a volunteer. The leaders trust that I will do my asigned job, and welcome suggestions as well as additional help. They make a point of thanking me for my contributions.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Through this volunteer activity, I have had the opportunity to meet many other people and families who struggle with the realities of living with mental illness on a daily basis.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It makes me feel as if I am able to give back to an organization that has helped me over the years. I also find it uplifting to be involved with a successful event, run by dedicated and enthusiastic people.

June 22, 2012

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June 22, 2012

My son had a mental breakdown 8 years ago. It was so devastating and my son's doctor told me to contact NAMI. I waited 1 year to take the Family to Family Class. I remember driving to the class for 12 weeks and feeling a sigh of relief each and every time I attended the class and when i left the class.It was the only place I felt understood and the only place I felt like I was given accurate information regarding my son's diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. I believe that the Family to Family class was my therapy, my life-saving device, and at the time, almost my God. It was the only thing that got me thru the terrible time of adjusting to my son's illness. Since that time, NAMI is a large part of my life and my son's. We attend support groups and events. Please continue to support the educational classes that this life changing event for many, many families that would otherwise be lost in the mental illness of their loved ones. I have taught these classes for 7 years, this is the way I am the vloice for my son- who has really lost his.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 22, 2012

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June 22, 2012

Initially, my daughter was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. After searching the internet, I located NAMI and enrolled in their Family-to-Family 12-week course. There, I not only learned how to cope with the uncertainty of her illness but learned of other mental health issues as well. I brought this information home to the rest of my family members who were then able to understand my daughter better. After the course I became my daughter's advocate; keeping records, talking to doctor's (even if they didn't want to talk to me) and communicating with my daughter in a healthy and productive way. I learned all of this through NAMI and its wonderful volunteers. Since then, my daughter's diagnosis has changed (now it's ADHD) but regardless of the diagnosis NAMI has equipped me with knowledge and courage to be an advocate for mental illness. Now I volunteer as a support group facilitator and 12-week course teacher. I can't thank NAMI enough for giving me the tools I needed to fight against the ugly word--STIGMA.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 21, 2012

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June 21, 2012

I am both a client served by Nami Florida and a volunteer. Nami Family to Family helped a lot with getting an idea of where my son was at with schizophrenia. Also, it helped me a LOT in not feeling alone in this situation, as my son was perfectly unaffected by schizophrenia until he turned 19, and then symptoms would come and go, so it was confusing- I thought/ was hoping, it was just a phase he was going through or would be one of the lucky ones who was just having this happen once or twice and then he'd be back to normal. Nami has helped me slowly kind of accept that this is most likely going to be a lifelong chronic illness- although I still pray Jesus will cure my son if it's His will. Being a volunteer of a new family support group has helped me also to feel more connected with others in similar situation. I also attend several Nami family support groups and it has always helped me realize I am not the only one dealing who was blindsided when my son got a disease I never imagined he would get, and it would change our lives forever. It has made me more aware of the mostly invisible people with this illness and how ignorant most of society is about it. I try to educate people on it when it seems appropriate to do so as there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding schizophrenia- people assume someone who has it is violent and needs to be locked away or heavily medicated. They never think that maybe the afflicted person would like to have some friends and maybe be included in society and maybe it's their duty as fellow human beings to try and befriend people ambushed in their most productive years by an illness that causes them to act and talk wierd sometimes or get paranoid at times, instead of just dropping them as friends or avoiding them - it's especially bad when the people are your relatives or were your child's lifelong friends. Some people also think someone with sz. is faking it to get the ssi check and constantly badger the ill person to get a job and quit being so lazy! Lots more education in society needs to be done!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 21, 2012

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June 21, 2012

NAMI HAS BEEN VERY EDUCATIONAL AND GIVEN ME A FEELING OF BELONGING.I CO-FACILLITATE TWO CONNECTIONS GROUPS AND DO IN OUR OWN VOICE. I AM ON THE BOARD. iT'S FIVE STARS.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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