I served at the Walk to Fight Suicide by giving out NAMI resources and educating people about their services. Photo by Kyle Loflin.

I volunteered for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Fresno (NAMI) for four amazing months working hard to break the negative stigma associated with mental illness. NAMI started with a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table and blossomed into the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization committed to providing support to those affected by mental illness. They offer free educational courses to ensure individuals and their families receive the support and information they need. They also do incredible work within the community by educating high school students through their Ending the Silence Presentations. They are all about education on mental illness because it’s the key to compassion. If more people understand mental illness, then we can create a healthier society without judgment or blame.

The Walk to Fight Suicide was the most emotionally powerful, life-changing experience I had working with NAMI. The Out of the Darkness Community Walks are proof of how impactful individuals can be when they work together. I was a representative for National Alliance on Mental Illness Fresno organization along side multiple organizations advocating for mental health.  I was honored to provide resources to these strong individuals who have lost a loved one or have been affected by suicide. It was spectacular to see our community working together to make necessary changes to put a stop to the tragic loss of life. I will forever remember that day and my experiences with each and every person I met; I felt honored to be included.

You have the power to save a life! How will you help someone in crisis?

PSST!  Stay tuned for Taylor’s follow-up post on her service with NAMI.

~Ambassador Taylor