NAMIWalks 2005 have begun! They are a great way to help build public awareness about mental illness and stop stigma. Even if you do not live in a community with a walk, please share information about them with relatives or friends who live near Walk sites, or adopt a community and one of its teams as your own. Dates and locations are listed at the bottom of the alert. For more details, see www.nami.org/namiwalks.
Fighting stigma will be just one of many topics addressed at NAMI’s annual convention in Austin, Texas, June 18-22nd. The deadline for "early bird" registration is May 20. Come together! Leave energized! NAMI conventions are incredible learning and networking experiences, and provide a foundation for future action. On the opening day of the convention, there will be a "brown bag" lunch to talk about the StigmaBusters program and our Alerts.
Boston University (BU) Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation is conducting a brief anonymous survey about the stigma and discrimination that people in recovery encounter in everyday life situations and how they deal with it. Consumers who are interested in contributing to the study, are invited to complete the survey and to let others know about it (such as by forwarding this notice by email). The more consumers who respond, the better strategies that can be developed to help consumers overcome stigma.
The world this month has observed the passing of Pope John Paul II.
At an international conference for health care workers on "illnesses of the human mind" in 1997 -- the same year StigmaBusters were founded -- the Pope spoke out against stigma by reminding people of the fundamental human dignity shared by those who live with mental illnesses.
The Church, he proclaimed, "reminds the political community of its duty to recognize and celebrate the divine image of man with actions that support and serve all those who find themselves in a condition of severe mental illness. This is a task which science and faith, medicine and pastoral care, professional skill and a sense of common brotherhood must help to carry out through an investment of adequate human, scientific and socio-economic resources."
"Whoever suffers from mental illness always bears God’s image and likeness in himself, as does every human being. In addition, he always has the inalienable right not only to be considered as an image of God and therefore as a person, but also to be treated as such.
"It is everyone’s duty to make an active response; our actions must show that mental illness does not create insurmountable distances, nor prevent relations of true Christian charity with those who are its victims. Indeed it should inspire a particularly attentive attitude."
April 16: Phoenix, AZ; San Diego, CA; Naples, FL
April 23: Knoxville, TN
April 29: Waukesha, WI
April 30: Memphis, TN
May 1: Columbia, MD
May 7: Wilmington, DE; Iowa City, IA; Hays and Topeka, KS; Portland, ME; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX
May 14: Fresno, CA; Orlando, FL; Davenport, IA; Boston, MA; Jackson, MS; Albuquerque, NM; Cincinnati, OH; Greenville, SC
May 15: Long Island/Queens, NY
May 21: San Francisco, CA; Hartford, CT; Lake Charles, LA; Detroit, MI; Sioux Falls, SD; Nashville, TN; Seattle, WA; Charleston, WV
May 22: Ventura, CA; Portland, OR
May 28: St. Louis, MO
July 24: Salt Lake City, UT
Sept 24: Anchorage, AK; Harrisburg, PA
Oct 1: Los Angeles, CA; Orange County, CA; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, OH
Oct 2: Concord, NH; Oklahoma City, OK (tentative); Austin, TX
Oct 8: Winston-Salem, NC; Akron, OH; Toledo, OH; Helena, MT (tentative)
Oct 29: Washington, D.C.
Stella March, National Coordinator
To sign up to receive StigmaBuster Alerts directly in your inbox, visit www.nami.org/subscribe, sign in and check the box next to StigmaBusters.