ABOUT NAMI RAPPAHANNOCK

NAMI Rappahannock is an affiliate chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). We are all advocating to bring more awareness and education to erasing the stigma of mental illness.

 

NAMI Rappahannock is fortunate to have veteran members who have spent years working as loving and caring volunteers for persons with mental illness. They have learned their lessons the hard way, by living and caring for their loved one.

 

They are examples of courage and hope that is contagious. They are here to take your hand and walk with you on your journey.

nami walks

Benefits of Early Identification and Help

As the attached infogram indicates, we have learned that mental illness often first appears much earlier in the lives of affected people than we thought.  We know that the earlier that the need for help is identified and met, usually the better the responses and healing and reduction of suffering and spreading misery. 

Mental illness possibilities can be discussed with one’s primary care physician or pediatrician.  Our local middle and high schools let students know that behavior and emotional problems that persist may be an emerging illness—with early help available at school. 

Similarly, adults are encouraged to be aware of indicators in themselves, family members, or friends, and to seek help promptly when needed. 

Recent changes in community responses

Before the pandemic hit, mental health resources were increasing, as was insurance funding.  As of late 2022, resources have become scarce and waits for appointments longer, so start your search as soon as the need arises.

There has also been a major shift in responding to mental health emergencies.  The single best emergency number now is nationwide and is 988, available for free 24/7 by phone or texting.  The responding professionals can often do a remarkable job of defusing tensions, calming emotions, and identifying next steps and resources.  Now it is rare for police to become involved. And many or most of the officers have now had 40 hours of training specifically about handling mental health and crisis calls.

See more under “Community Resources”