Athens Mental Health Advocates Recognized
Affiliate of The Year – 2010
The Athens affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) was named the “Affiliate of the Year” at the annual meeting of the Ohio group, held recently in Columbus.
Tom and Anne Walker accepted the award on behalf of the Athens County affiliate and thanked the many people and organizations supporting NAMI. Athens County President Greg Polzer thanked NAMI Ohio for the recognition and said he and his wife, Janet, “are thrilled and honored by the selection.”
Additionally, Anne Walker was elected at the conference to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors for NAMI Ohio. In June, husband Tom Walker will conclude the second of two three-year terms on the Board.
“Athens County NAMI provides a fantastic example of what can be accomplished by a motivated group of individuals working on the grassroots level,” said NAMI Ohio Executive Director Jim Mauro. “The many hours of volunteer work devoted by these dedicated individuals is making a difference in the lives one of our most vulnerable populations the mentally ill.”
The accomplishments of NAMI Athens County include:
- Offers Family to Family, Hand-to-Hand, Peer-to-Peer, family
- support groups, and monthly education programs
- Offers a bi-annual conference locally that provides education
- and combats stigma
- Is a key member of the Athens Area Jail Diversion Advisory Board
- that has trained over 150 law enforcement officers
- Provides leadership on the Ridges Cemetery Project to maintain and improve the cemeteries to increase respect and decrease stigma
- Produces programs on WOUB public radio on mental health topics to increase education and decrease stigma.
- Helped to support the Athens Photographic Project
- Produces several editions of their newsletter
- Serves on the local suicide coalitions
NAMI Ohio is a not-for-profit statewide association that serves as the voice on mental illness. The organization is comprised of over 16,000 family members, consumers, advocates and professionals working together to ensure that Ohioans with mental illness and their loved ones receive the treatment and support they need. Serious mental illness includes such illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and serious depressive disorder.
More information is available at www.namiohio.org .