NAMI Greater Cleveland Greater Cleveland
  NAMI Greater Cleveland Home Page
  About Us
  Our Board
  Medical Advisory Board
  NAMIWalks 2015
  Annual Meeting
  Community Events
  Education Programs
  Support Groups
  Multi Cultural Outreach
  2014 Annual Appeal
  Create a Legacy

Join NAMI Today Keep up with NAMI news stories, events and blogs, connect with your affiliate and bring support and hope to others.
Register for the 2015 NAMI National Convention in San Francisco
Find a Discussion Groups
Top News Stories
Find more at
stars graphic


 | Print this page | 


December 2, 2014

Looking back, I experienced symptoms of mental illness as early as four years old. That’s when panic attacks and my history of self-injury began.  Unaware that this was abnormal behavior, I never said anything to anyone and went on to be a very successful kid. When I left high school, I had appointments to both West Point and The Naval Academy, as well as a potential career as a professional baseball player. I was the All-American boy.

Fifteen years later, fueled by an incorrect diagnosis of major depressive disorder, the wrong medication and a battle with alcoholism, I found myself in a Delaware County jail holding cell on suicide watch looking at a minimum of three years in prison. As I lay on that concrete floor, I was absolutely befuddled as to how my life had taken such a drastic turn.

Thankfully, I was spared from having to serve any time in prison.  I returned to the Cleveland area, and my recovery began to take hold.  After I began working with a counselor, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed an effective medication.  Since then my life has completely turned around.

I learned about NAMI Greater Cleveland through my counselor.  I saw a posting for a NAMIWalks intern.  Since my professional background is engineering and sales, they brought me on right away to help with fundraising activities.  Eventually, I was invited to be part of the Speakers Bureau.

Speaking to groups of people about my experience is one of the most rewarding things I do.  I have spoken to numerous NAMI groups, including Understanding Mental Illness and Family-to-Family classes.  I also speak regularly to students, healthcare workers and law enforcement officers.  There is nothing like the feeling of inspiring hope in someone who is living with or caring for someone with mental illness.  Most of these people are only familiar with the crisis side of mental illness.  It is such a blessing to see their eyes soften and smiles emerge as I share my story and demonstrate that recovery is possible.

Mental Illness is one of the most widespread yet least understood illnesses.  I was 34 years old before I understood what was happening to me.  I am one of the fortunate ones.  The goal of NAMI Greater Cleveland is to ensure that all people affected by mental illness have the opportunity to experience recovery as I have. 

Please consider making a gift to the 2014 Annual Fund.  Very bluntly, we cannot do this by ourselves.  We need the support of our community to further our mission of empowering persons affected by mental illness and their family members to achieve a better quality of life.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.  Together, we can and we will make a difference. 

Best Regards,

Ben Seeley, NAMI Greater Cleveland Volunteer

Please make your donation via PayPal
or send it to NAMI GC
, 2012 West 25th Street, #600, Cleveland, OH 44113. 
Thank You for your consideration.


Giving to NAMI Greater Cleveland's Annual Fund, helps us continue
providing valuable services that help so many, including our
Consumer and Family Support, Education classes, the Helpline
and Community Education programs. To give, please complete the following information:







□ My gift will be matched by______________________________(enclose form) 

□ I have included NAMI Greater Cleveland in my estate planning. 

□ I would like more information on ways I can include NAMI Greater Cleveland in
   my long-term financial plans. 

□ Please accept my gift of $___________to be paid in_________ installments,
   NAMI Greater Cleveland will in-voice you. 

□ Please accept my one time gift of $_________ 

□ Check inclosed. Please made checks payable to NAMIGreater Cleveland.
   Your gift is %100 tax-deductible 

□ Charge my VISA           □ Charge my MasterCard              □ Charge my  Amex 



Please send to:
NAMI Greater Cleveland
2012 W. 25th St., # 600
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

 Thank you for your continued support.

 Michael Baskin, Executive Director

 | Print this page |