well, I went to my first National Alliance for the Mentally Ill event yesterday. It was a press conference recognizing February as “Crisis Intervention Team Month” as proclaimed by the Governor, Phil Bryant (R). We had all sorts of stakeholders there–Department of Mental Health, various sheriffs and area police forces, NAMI board members, and Miss Teen Mississippi USA, whose platform is mental health awareness. I was the only one there not there is some official capacity; I was simply a person who suffers from mental illness. I mainly wanted to talk to the press about my experience if they were interested. (They were mostly interested in pictures of Miss Teen Mississippi 🙂 )
But I did speak to a young man there representing Mississippi Public Broadcasting who said his network was looking to do a two-hour documentary on mental health issues in Mississippi, so I told him I suffered from bipolar disorder and he took down my contact information to call me later in the year when they get ready to do the documentary. So I am excited about participating in that. And the NAMI director told me they were setting up training in March for the speaking I want to be doing for them, so that was exciting to hear, too.
So we will see what happens on those two fronts. It was exciting to see people interested in the organization and involved in issues of mental health. ITs a very thorny issue in Mississippi because as a poor state, we don’t have the money to give to indigent care or to invest in Medicaid. SO much of it comes down to money. I’m glad I have good insurance.