“It’s a Beginning”: The Journey of Building a Grassroots Mental Health Chapter

January 25, 2018 / Danei Edelen  / 
NAMI, grassroots

“It was good talking to you. I look forward to the meeting” his text said after my phone call with a potential support group participant. “This is really happening,” I said to myself. I was so grateful to [Nick] who had referred him. We just had our first evening support group the Thursday prior. After wrestling with my own mental illness, I am finally at a place in my life where I am able to constructively help other people. These days I often say to myself, “It’s a beginning.”

A lot of people with mental illness are looking for a safe place and having trouble finding it. This is a series about building a safe place from the ground up.

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Why Did He Have to Ask A Stranger?

October 22, 2016 / Danei Edelen  / 
stranger, we listen

Losing the battle with my morning headache I awoke late one morning to see this email from a complete stranger (Names have been changed to protect anonymity), “My 26 year old daughter [Mary] is back in the hospital… As a parent I feel so helpless. Thank-you for helping to bring it out of the shadows. My daughter would rather die than to live with the side effects of medication… help us, please… [John].” (more…)

What Courage Really Looks Like

October 11, 2016 / Danei Edelen  / 
Let's do this, courage, courageous

“Thank you for sharing your story; you are so courageous,” a woman said to me at one of my “In Our Own Voice” presentations. As usual, I smiled and thanked her. It always surprises me when people thank me for speaking out—that the “speaking out” aspect is what they believe is most courageous. Yes, speaking out is cathartic. But when you’re like me, living with mental illness, what’s far more courageous is the journey to speaking out. (more…)

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