August 18, 2012
I have a son who has paranoid schizophrenia. When he was diagnosed, the psychiatrist suggested that we give custody of him to the state because there was no hope that he would ever even be able to finish high school or be able to live anywhere except the street. My son had been an honor student and was going into high school. He was an athlete and played the trombone in the school band. I was not going to give him up, though I was blamed for the illness. He and I battled family, ignorant friends, and the narrow-minded church while he finished high school with the help of a very special teacher who was willing to work with us eventhough she hadn't been trained to work with students with Lonnie's illness. She said that he was teaching her. He completed high school back in the honors program and went on to college. He finished with an associates degree and enrolled for computer science at the University of Houston. There his headaches became unmanageable, and he had to leave the university and had to go to the hospital to find a maintenance medication. From the hospital, I learned about NAMI(National Alliance on Mental Illness) Gulf Coast. Through this organization, I found understanding and support in our struggle with this devestating illness. NAMI Gulf Coast sponsors educational classes and conventions, social events, monthly support groups, and participates in educating legislators in financially supporting mental health progams in Texas. This is an organization that I don't want to be without.
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MY ROLE:Board Member