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Posted: February 2, 2013 8:27 p.m.

Mental health support group for families launched

Too often, mental illness is an isolating experience, accompanied by profound anxiety. To combat this isolation, a newly-formed mental illness support group has been formed.

The National Alliance of Mental Illness Family Support Group will began meeting Monday, Feb. 4, from 7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 2375 GA 20 South, Conyers, and will continue meeting on the first Monday of each month.

The NAMI Family Support Group is a recovery support group program for people whose loved one is living with mental illness. The group provides a place that offers respect, understanding, encouragement and hope. 

“This is definitely a need in the community,” said Family Support Group Facilitator Diane Marinelli. “Lots of people are dealing with family members who have mental illnesses, and it can be very isolating. This gives people a chance to share in a safe and confidential environment,” 

The group is led by trained individuals who themselves have loved ones living with a mental illness. They understand the daily challenges and can offer encouragement and support.  All group sessions are confidential. 

Marinelli and husband, Bernie, along with two other Rockdale County residents have all been through the NAMI training. The Marinellis have two children, one who was diagnosed with a mental illness.

Last year the Marinellis taught a six week NAMI Basic course designed for parents of children with mental illness.

“We noticed that there was no long-term support for people in those situations so we wanted to start a NAMI family support group here in Rockdale County,” said Marinelli. They plan to offer the NAMI Basic course two times a year, but they will be holding the Family Support Group on a monthly basis. 

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. When a family member or friend is diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other condition, talking with someone to share coping strategies and insights, as well as problems and concerns, can be an important part of recovery.

NAMI Family Support Group is open to all adults who have a family member or friend who is living with mental illness, regardless of diagnosis. There is no cost and no need to register. 

For more information or to be put on the mailing list for future updates, email Diane Marinelli at vdiannem@gmail.com.


 

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