What follows is an excerpt from Alivia Hall’s blog, our 2015 Walk intern, on what it meant to her to work at NAMI Mass, as a person in recovery. We hope Alivia’s openness communicates the importance of what we do and that you will contribute now. Click here to get started online.
1. The importance of working in an understanding and judgement-free work environment
Everyone working for or associated with NAMI Mass either suffers from some form of mental illness or has a loved one that does. This brings a genuine sense of understanding and compassion into the office. I have never been afraid to mention my anxiety disorder to my coworkers. I feel comfortable enough to be upfront and honest about my mental health condition, and I truly believe that is how every single workplace should be.
2. The importance of being passionate about what you do
Each day I speak to someone over the phone, through email or in person, I feel as if I am making a difference. Every single NAMI Mass employee is passionate about what they do and trust me, it’s contagious.
3. The importance of stopping the stigma and ending the negative associations with mental illness
In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is NAMI’s stigma-busting presentation given by two people with lived experience of mental illness, where they discuss their dark days, treatment, recovery and acceptance. The best part about IOOV is that it demonstrates that most of the time, you cannot tell a person has mental illness by looking at them.
We need to keep talking. It is the most effective way to combat the stigma. A mental illness does not define who someone is…”
Thank you and here’s to your health, joy and peace for the holidays and the year to come.
P.S. 87% of our budget goes toward our programs, all of which are offered free to participants and only 13% of our revenue is spent on fundraising and administrative/general expenses.