New mental illness support group begins

By Martha B. Jacob – 

The newest National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Brown County is now up and running and hopes to make a difference in the lives of residents who suffer from some form of mental illness
“NAMI Brown County is the 41st affiliate in the state of Ohio,” said Venita Milburn, member of the steering committee of the new affiliate in Brown County.
Milburn said that the newly organized group will launch its first event on Thursday, June 14 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Georgetown Library.
Kelly Conklin, NAMI Southwest Ohio Presenter and Danei Edelen (president of the new NAMI) will conduct a program at the kickoff entitled “In Our Own Voice.”
“As a person with a mental illness, I learned that I was not alone through NAMI and it has been a lifesaver for me,” Edelen said. “NAMI provides information, support and hope to individuals and families that live with mental illness.
“We will be sharing our mental illness journeys to provide hope to those that are struggling and we want people in Brown County to know that there is life after a mental illness diagnosis.”
The NAMI Brown County Ohio affiliate offers a peer led support group on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at the Board of mental health and Addiction Services building in Georgetown.
A family support group is offered on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the same location.
“I am excited about the creation of a NAMI affiliate in Brown County, “ said Deanna Vietze, executive director of the Board of Mental Health and Addiction Services in Brown County.
“Our focus has been so intent on addiction recently and while that is important and warranted, we also need to focus on mental health supports and programming. NAMI provides a community of support for those individuals and families that live with mental illness.”
Edelen said that as president of the new NAMI, she has three goals.
“First,” Edelen said, “ I want to continue to tell others about NAMI so that the silent suffers will know that help is available. Second, I want to educate individuals on the signs and symptoms of mental illness and suicide and third, I want to build the programs and classes I know that can make a difference in people’s lives.”