National Alliance on Mental Illness

Recent Articles

Children’s book written to help ‘tear down the walls of prejudice’ against mental illness

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Mental health has always been, at the least, a touchy subject among African Americans. As powerfully as it can impact lives, it doesn’t help to ignore or, still worse, pass judgment on people who suffer mental problems. Accordingly, Linda and Nneka Onyilofor with illustrator Aaron Gilmore have created a remarkable children’s book, My Brother Adam: A journey with schizophrenia (Radiant Heart Press) that can help adults as well as kids gain a constructive outlook on the subject. For the authors, this professional undertaking is one of personal significance. They are moved to inform readers as a public service by family circumstance. Linda Onyilofor states, “So many people are not taught about schizophrenia, and the disease is misunderstood. Continue Reading →

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Do you know how to respond to a mental-health crisis?

Mental Health First Aid provides the needed skills
By Vickie Evans-Nash

MSR Editor-in-Chief

First aid and CPR classes have been taught across the nation for years now, giving people with no medical training lifesaving skills in the event of a medical crisis. People suffering from mental health problems can pose a life-threatening crisis as well. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota offers lay people a class called Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) that will give them the skills needed to respond in cases of a mental-health crisis. “In a similar way to how regular first aid teaches people BAC (breathing, airway and circulation), in mental health first aid there’s an acronym ALGEE. It stands for assess for risk of suicide or harm, listen non-judgmentally, get appropriate information and support, encourage appropriate professional help, and encourage appropriate self-help,” explains Anna McLafferty, the course instructor. Continue Reading →

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Mpls psychologist receives award for professional excellence

 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota presented Minneapolis psychologist Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya, executive director of the African

 

American Child Wellness Institute and president of the Brakins Consulting and Psychological Services, with a Professional of the Year award at its Annual Conference, held Nov. 3 in St. Paul. The award recognizes a professional who provides high-quality services, exemplifies best practices, and demonstrates commitment to and leadership in the field. “NAMI recognizes Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya for her work to provide mental health services to children, to address mental health disparities and to help more providers become certified to provide children’s therapeutic services and supports in schools,” said NAMI’s executive director, Sue Abderholden. Continue Reading →

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Kids with special needs need special help

 

 
Parents must learn how to make the special education system work for their children
 

 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Perception is a powerful thing. For instance, when people perceive problems with mental health, learning disabilities or other conditions that may negatively affect thinking and/or behavior as a reason to look down on, stereotype or shun someone, people with these conditions may as well have leprosy. Or it may be a ripe opportunity to take advantage of an individual whose problems have made them vulnerable. Perceive it as a fact of life and you realize human beings contending with such a difficulty are exactly that, no less human than yourself and entitled to the same respectful consideration. Which is how the National Alliance on Mental Illness (

NAMI) renders itself a significant community resource, improving perception by providing information that helps make a difference in the minds of “normal” people. Continue Reading →

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