The National Alliance on Mental Illness has been a part of the texoma community for over 12 years and now they are expanding in hopes of spreading awareness and helping families who are dealing with the disease.
In the past NAMI has been the go to organization for anyone seeking information on the many different kinds of mental illness.
Now with a new office and staff they are doing more to help families in need.
When a member of Rusty's family was diagnosed with a mental illness she says she didn't know where to turn.
"Nobody told me or no one could tell me how to nurture and love someone with a mental illness," Rusty said.
She says it was an article in the newspaper that led her to NAMI.
"I wrote down the address and went. I almost changed my mind because i was nervous about going in and bearing the intimate part of my life," said Rusty.
She attended the NAMI family to family class, a class which focuses less on the individual diagnosed and more on the family member helping the loved one who is sick.
"That class opened so many doors. It answered my questions before I asked them," added Rusty.
"The education is key in helping these family members understand how to help their loved one. Many times people are afraid to be associated with the stigma of having to admit out loud hey i might have a mental illness or my family member may have a mental illness," said Hannah Fryer Program Coordinator for NAMI Wichita Falls.
"I was so overwhelmed that I finally had help," Rusty said.
After being informed on what measures to take when dealing with her family members illness Rusty went the extra mile and is now a trained instructor for the family to family classes.
She says this is her way of giving back to the organization.
"If i could help one person the way i was helped it will be worth it", Rusty says.
Thursday Rusty will teach her first family to family class at the NAMI office, for more information on that class and the other programs NAMI offers just call the office at 322-NAMI.
Or you can visit the NAMI web site we have created a link in this story just log onto www.namiwichitafalls.org
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