Mary Beth Writes

9/7/2023

Grownups Noticing Their Lives

NAMI

Most of you know about my former weird and lovely job of coordinating an employability skills program for Huber-qualified inmates in the Racine County Jail (that’s a mouthful). Early on I realized that most of the people I would work with were people with 1.) huge addiction problems, and 2.) underlying and over-the-top and to-the-side just lying around mental health issues.

Like this: This cheerful guy in front of me started drinking after school in 4th grade and he hasn’t slowed down yet. Yep, he was semi-neglected and crazily parented. Usually and more confusingly, this kid who was now the adult in front of me, had been very loved whenever his parents managed to pay attention to him.

Did he have mental health issues? You betcha. Mental health in incarcerated people? As long as we citizens of the realm can say “oh s/he is just an addict with no self-discipline” - then we don’t need to understand our part in leaving kids to their own coping skills until they become old enough to incarcerate.

Early on at that job it was also my privilege to attend some NAMI workshops about how to work with people who have mental illnesses. These were super helpful and I have appreciated this organization ever since.

Most of us (all of us?) have mental health vulnerabilities. Some of us are the walking wounded. We all need help. We all need to do our part to help those who do help.

I’m a big fan of NAMI - National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. https://namisoutheastwi.org/

Here in southeast Wisconsin, NAMI is hosting a fundraising walk this October 7th at the Milwaukee Zoo. You can sign up by yourself or with a few others. Let your friends know and they will sponsor you. Entrance to the zoo is included for those who are registered to walk. The event is over around noon. You will likely be tired but you will also be inside the zoo. Sit down for a while, then peruse this world class emporium of beautiful animals.

I was planning to do this but - and we are happy about this - Len will be recovering from a cardiac tune-up so I’m going to stay by his side to love and harass him.

If you sign up I will pledge on your sign-up sheet. Send your info to me at MB at MaryBethDanielson dot com. If no one asks me to support them I will still donate because it’s a privilege to help the helpers.

This is where you sign up or donate: https://www.namiwalks.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=1431

I’m connecting you to NAMI of SE Wisconsin, but you can look up and support the organization where you live.

 

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Comments

I read this and before I got to the cardiac tuneup part I checked my calendar and thought how fun it would be to spend a day with you walking through the zoo for a good cause! Especially sounds good right now as Steve and I have Covid and are quarantined until at least Sunday. We got the medicine to help alleviate symptoms, but it is no picnic. Will be thinking about Len & you ---- I know a cardiac guy and what wonderful stuff they can do :) Hugs!
Mary Beth's picture

I think it's time to all put our steel Covid helmets back on. I keep hearing about people contracting it. Ugh. I'm so sorry. Glad you had a beautiful trip, first...

I’m going to look up the organization closer to us! Thanks for the inform.
Mary Beth's picture

This is great. Thanks.

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