In 1989, Congress designated the 90's as the "Decade of the Brain" and proclaimed the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) as a means to increase research and public awareness on issues related to mental illness. NAMI advocates were instrumental in the creation of MIAW. And today, our efforts continue. NAMI now has:
We have come far in the past fifteen years but there is still much work to be done. Today, stigma remains a powerful force in our society. Just this past summer, Tom Cruise announced on NBC's Today Show that psychiatry is a pseudoscience and that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.
NAMI needs your help to continue our outreach programs and extend our advocacy legacy. Every year, all year long, NAMI strives to raise public awareness and effect change in our nation's mental healthcare systems. On this fifteenth anniversary of MIAW, NAMI asks you to help us continue our advocacy work and public education programs in the year ahead.
Here's how you can help today:
For the first 15 days of October, we are sponsoring a special Take Action campaign on the NAMI Web site. We are asking each person who reads this to do two things: First, make an online donation to support the ongoing work of NAMI. It's secure, it's fast (it takes less than 2 minutes), and your generous, tax-deductible gift is absolutely critical to our ongoing work. We're calling on 1,500 donors to step forward. We simply can't do it without you.
Secondly, once you have made your donation, we need you to spread the message of Mental Illness Awareness Week.On the NAMI Web site, we've made it easy for you to contact your state and federal representatives, as well as raise awareness by forwarding key information about mental illness to friends, family and acquaintances.