Although I have lived in Kansas for over 20 years, I continue to travel to my home state of Arkansas to visit my children and other family members.
My heart will always be with the sufferers of mental illness in Arkansas. Particularly since 2 of my children died there due to lack of proper mental health treatment. My son, Marty was 28 years old when he took his life in the Arkansas State Hospital in 2002. He was supposed to be on suicide watch. Apparently, staff was not informed of this.
My daughter, also diagnosed, took her life in Fayettevile, Arkansas in February, 2008. She was 26 years old and had previoulsly attended U of A in pre law.
Both my son and daughter wrote poetry, sang, were funny, intelligent, beautiful young adults who had a lot to offer society, had they had the right treatment for their brain disorders.
Because my husband and I have taught Family to Family education classes with NAMI Kansas for the past 11 years, we know that my children's illnesses were biological, physiological brain disorders. They were not "crazy", they were burdened with a brain disorder that very few people understand. The stigma surrounding their illnesses is tragic in a modern society that can provide mountains of medical info for you or your child if diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, or Lukemia.
The education provided through National Alliance on Mental Illness is critical for families going through crises themselves or with a loved one. Education is neccessary to rid family members of two stmblingblocks related to recovery: stigma and guilt. Arkansas needs NAMI education and support. -Audrey Auernheimer
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I have had 3 out of 4 of my children diagnosed with serious mental illnesses. Lost 2 adult children to suicide, got phenomenal education and support through NAMI Kansas.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Fund state NAMI Arkansas so that this wonderful organization could offer education and support for mental illnesses in a state that desparately needs this info.