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NAMI Advocate e-newsletter, March 2007

In this issue: Soccer therapy; Psychiatric Advance Directives; African American Mental Health; NAMI Bookshelf, Borderline Personality Disorder; NAMIWALKS

Prescription: Soccer

The beginning of spring last week signaled for many a return to outdoor activities. But for some people with serious mental illnesses, outdoor activity--specifically, soccer--is not just a way to have fun. It has become a part of their treatment plan. recently reported on a psychiatrist in Italy who has been using soccer as therapy for the past 14 years for hundreds of people with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar and multiple-personality disorder. Their participation in the team sport has not only aided in their recovery, says the doctor, but has helped combat stigma. Read more...

New Resource for Psychiatric Advance Directives

Introduced in the 1990s, psychiatric advance directives offer a way for people with mental illnesses to plan ahead for a mental health crisis. They are legal documents that typically specify treatment instructions and appoint a designated health care agent, among other actions.

A newly launched online national resource center is now providing comprehensive information on psychiatric advance directives. Read more...

African American Families and Mental Health

NAMI has released A Family Guide to Mental Health: What You Need to Know, oriented especially to African-American families.

The 15-page booklet outlines symptoms and treatment options for serious mental illness, along with NAMI education and support programs, and other information resources. It is intended for use by churches, community-based organizations, health and mental health centers, and schools. Read more...

NAMI Bookshelf

Letters for Emily
Told from the point of view of Harry, an old man who supposedly lives with Alzheimer's disease, Letters for Emily by Camron Wright is a novel packed with sentimentality, love, and wisdom.

Though mental illness is not the centerpiece of the book, this book will hit home with many families that have been affected by mental illness.

Because doctors tell Harry that he does not have long to live, he uses his remaining time to create a book of poems and riddles about his life. After his death, the family is brought together as they work to solve these riddles. Read more...

Fast Facts: Schizophrenia
A newly-published third edition of Fast Facts: Schizophrenia is available to NAMI Advocate e-newsletter readers at a one-third discount.

The 104 page-volume with 53 tables and illustrations is a concise source of information on all facets of the illness including history, genetics, and treatment. Photos of MRI brain images and key points presented in tables make it easy to skim.

Visit the Fast Facts online bookstore to order under Mental Health. Charges are shown in British pounds, but the cost in dollars is $24.95, plus shipping. To obtain the NAMI discount off of this price, enter SN10 in the coupon box at check-out.


  • The NAMIWALKS program was
    launched in 2003 with 12 Walk
  • In 2006, WALKS happened in 59 cities across America, attracting more than 55,000 individual walkers/supporters, over 1,000 corporate and business sponsors, and raising over $5.5 million.
  • In 2007, over 200 NAMI affiliates will be engaged in WALKS across America. NAMIWALKS will be held in 43 states and in almost every major city in the country. 
  • During 2007, there will be WALKS at 70 sites engaging an anticipated 70,000 walkers working to raise an estimated $7 million in 2007! 

Borderline Personality Disorder

by Joyce Burland, Ph.D., Director, NAMI Education, Training and Peer Support Center

There is perhaps no serious mental illness more maligned and misconstrued than borderline personality disorder.

Years ago, when I started my clinical career, I was warned to "stay away from 'Borderlines'." Being of a suspicious nature, I began to search out information about this dread diagnosis, which was primarily attached to women, and carried with it such a blatantly stigmatizing reputation.

As I began working with people with this disorder, I became aware of the enormous strength and resiliency they brought to the daily struggle of coping with the disruptive symptoms of the condition, and of the patience and loyalty shown by the families who loved and supported them.

Bringing this diagnosis out of the darkness is long overdue.

Individuals and families living with the illness deserve current and correct information, and we must all advocate to dispel the myths which have made borderline personality disorder a "leprosy" of psychiatric diagnoses.

As part of the formal inclusion of borderline personality disorder in its list of priority populations in NAMI's public policy platform, NAMI has invited Perry D. Hoffman, Ph.D., to write the following article.

She is a pioneer in educating families about this disorder, and a prime mover in forming a collaborative effort with NAMI to increase visibility and understanding of this treatable mental illness.

Read Dr. Hoffman's article about Borderline Personality Disorder

New Harbinger Publications & NAMI

Since 1973 New Harbinger has published research-based, user-friendly self-help books that have brought relief, comfort, and support to families across the globe struggling with mental illness .

Now, NAMI is partnering with New Harbinger to bring our supporters discounts on New Harbinger books.  And simply by buying books on New Harbinger, you can support NAMI in helping people living with mental illnesses and their families.
Learn more...



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The NAMI Advocate e-newsletter brings periodic, lively news and stories of interest to NAMI supporters, supplementing The Advocate, NAMI's magazine for dues-paying members that arrives four times a year by regular mail.

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