Nami GBCAN brings meaning, hope, and life to the word recovery. While in recovery for my own mental illness I was on an overwhelming search. I didn’t know what I was searching for until I landed on Nami GBCAN. The National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Boston Consumer Advocacy Network is made up of a group of peers who serve as advocates to those with mental illness. Nami GBCAN stood out to me because just as I am, they are dedicated to eliminating the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.
Howard Trachtman, the founder of Nami GBCAN is a leader in the mental health field who uses his lived experience as a tool to help others on the road to recovery. Advocacy is another huge part of their mission.
Some of the issues they have fought for include housing, homelessness, veteran support, restraint and elimination. I asked the staff of Nami GBCAN what does being a part of this group mean to them and this is what they said:
I get to listen to others and help individuals with issues they are struggling with. For one day a week, sometimes two, I feel like a professional I used to be.
To me NAMI GBCAN means being able to connect with people who understand where I am coming from. GBCAN makes me feel like my skills and abilities are valued and useful.
NAMI GBCAN gives me hope. The people that I have connected with here brings to life the idea that “recovery is real
I am proud that I have been able to mentor people to work in human services. Being active in NAMI GBCAN has helped me feel like I have made a difference.
When I’m around peers at the NAMI GBCAN, the stigma of my illness is somewhat lifted and it allows me talk freely with no clouds over my head.
If you’re in the Boston area join the GBCAN as we take on the Nami Walk on Saturday May 10th, 2014 at the DCR’s Artesani Park along the Charles River.
Julia Cardoso is the Mental Health Staff Writer with a focus
on Anxiety Disorders. She is a graduate of Emmanuel College with a BA in Sociology and is on her second year MSW program at Simmons College. Julia is passionate about Mental Health and eliminating the stigma.