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Audrey

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Review for NAMI-ARKANSAS, Little Rock, AR, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

Although NAMI Arkansas seems to have been non active for the past few years, I 'm sure the potential is there within this state to become a powerful force for good within the Mental Health community. I'm sure the reason NAMI Arkansas has not grown is due to the fact that they have little to no funding for their organization.
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

Role:  Volunteer & Volunteered to teach family member classes to alieviate the ignorance/stigma surrounding treatable mental illnesses.