Letters to the editor for May 28, 2013

Union Democrat staff /

NAMI combats mental illness stigma

To the Editor:

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month as designated by our Tuolumne Board of Supervisors, it is an appropriate time to recognize the many positive aspects of our county's Behavioral Health Department.

As president of our NAMI-TC (National Alliance on Mental Illness - Tuolumne County) I was invited to sit in on the annual Site Review on May 15. Director Rita Austin and her staff were well prepared with facts, figures and appropriate information regarding their efforts to carry out their mission "to provide respectful, culturally sensitive and strength based behavioral health services which provide wellness, self-sufficiency and recovery from mental illness and/or addiction."

I was also invited to The Enrichment Center (the former Tuolumne General Hospital Long Term Adult Care facility), which is the Peer Help Center. I experienced the relaxing, pleasant atmosphere where there is an opportunity for socialization and peer spirit of giving support and friendship. Many mental health activities to promote wellness are ongoing here. It is good to see this building put to such good and important use.

NAMI-TC continues to meet monthly to do our part in reducing the stigma and discrimination of mental illness. Our meeting is the first Thursday of the month (actually July 4th's will be on the 11th) at 6 p.m. at the Red Church beginning with a potluck. We engage speakers appropriate to our needs and follow with support groups for our members and their families.

For further information about NAMI-TC please call Marcia Watts (533-3662) or Mary Leamy (586-9351).

Marcia Watts

Sonora

President, NAMI-TC

11902081
The Union Democrat
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