NAMI Davidson provides or offers support for events and organizations in their efforts for awareness, advocacy and the elimination of stigma.
“Why isn’t mental illness a casserole disease?”
That was the question program founder Brian Grant brought to NAMI Davidson. Why did compassionate people shrink away from people with mental health issues and their families at a time when they were most in need of support, help and friendship?
Out of those questions arose NAMI Davidson’s faith outreach program, In the Spirit of Awareness. A collaboration was formed with the Pastoral Counseling Centers of Tennessee and a presentation was developed to help faith communities bridge the gap to understanding and help their fellow congregants.
The presentation gives a brief overview of mental health issues, a reflective exercise of the impact of mental health crisis on faith perspectives, a shared family journey of mental health recovery and tips and local resources.
What is Health Equity?
Healthy People 2020 defines health equity as “attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.”
Why the focus on Health Equity in Nashville?
Health equity was found to be one of the top strategic priorities for the Metro Public Health Department and the larger Nashville Community during the 2013 community health assessment process.
Each year the Summit tackles a new focus related to the whole health of residents of Davidson County. NAMI Davidson has represented families and people with lived experience and their interests as participants in summits and has also participated in the planning of the summit.
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) (also known as Mental Health Awareness Week) was established in 1990 by the U.S. Congress in recognition of efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to educate and increase awareness about mental illness. It takes place every year during the first full week of October.
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in any given year. Not only are these adults affected by one mental illness; 45% of these adults meet criteria for two or more disorders. These range from fairly common mood disorders to the much more serious anxiety and schizophrenia disorders. Stigma surrounding mental illness is a major barrier that prevents people from seeking the mental health treatment that they need.
Each year at this time NAMI Davidson holds it annual Well Within Awards acknowledging the individuals and organizations who have made modeled or made progress towards the goal of Mental Wellness. Stay tuned for this year’s event information. Sponsors interested injoining us for event sponsorship can inquire at 615-891-4724.
Starting in 2015, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, are working together to increase mental health awareness in the African American community. This partnership is part of AKA’s 2014-2018 International Program, Launching New Dimensions of Service, and NAMI’s efforts to build a national movement.
All three chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha in the Greater Nashville Area have committed to work in partnership with NAMI Davidson. The chapters are:
- Alpha Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
- Upsilon Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
- Kappa Lamba Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Ongoing collaborative activities:
- NAMI Davidson Annual 5K Walk, Run and Village.
- AKA’s Longest Day in June
- AKA/NAMI Minority Multicultural AwarenessMonth
NAMI Davidson has been a longstanding member of the Suicide Prevention in the African American Church Committee (SPAACC). The committee, led by Dr. George Brooks, Sr.of the St. James Missionary Baptist Church is proactive in messaging and facilitating programs in churches that focuses on reducing suicide inrelated faith communities. It has grown in its understanding to includemental health issues and the reduction of stigma as a barrier to seeking help.
If you are an African American Faith Community interested in participating please contactDr. Brooks at 615-320-7616.