The Power of Community Support

By: Jamie Gurgul, NAMI Wisconsin PR & Events Coordinator

*Reprinted from the NAMI Wisconsin March/April 2017 Iris Newsletter

It takes a village-- this is something we hear all the time, but we do not always seem to fully appreciate the meaning. Many of us like to believe we can do anything and everything on our own, even when we should not have to.

When facing mental illness, the world can seem rickety and unclear. Yet thousands of individuals going through the same situations can share in this feeling of instability. This is when community support should come in for the rescue.

The power of community can make our current situation feel manageable, while giving us a sense of hope and belonging. Community can give us support and strength. Community can give us inspiration and strategy. Community can give us companionship and connection in a world when no one seems to be around.

Community can give us balance when the world seems rickety.

Look beyond your local town and neighbors when reaching out for a community. Community can span much further than this specific demographic. Your community is anyone you share mutual goals and connections to-- such as coworkers, members of your church, current or former classmates, fellow sports teammates, and, of course, our local NAMI affiliate. Your community is based on your past achievements and future aspirations.

Even if you’re not going through a particular hardship at this time, it is crucial to participate as a helping hand in your community. There will most likely be a day when you will need the same help and guidance. In the meantime, be sure to share genuine kindness and give to those who need it. After all, we rise by lifting others.

At the NAMI Wisconsin office, we are continually reminded of how strong a community we are able to work with. Each person in the NAMI community utilizes their own strengths to end the stigma around mental illness. It’s powerful to see a community come together in so many different ways around the same goal of helping those affected by mental illness. We would like to thank the strong, compassionate individuals who are dedicated to the NAMI community! We are lucky to have you as part of our team.