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NAMI Advocate e-newsletter, April 2006

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Dear Friend of NAMI,

In this issue of the NAMI Advocate e-newsletter we examine recent studies on the effectiveness of medications to treat mental illness. We also review a new documentary about a family living with schizophrenia, kick off NAMIWalks 2006, and much more.

NAMIWalks 2006
Kicks Off

The 2006 NAMIWalks program got off to a strong start on Saturday April 1 in Naples, Florida, with over 600 people walking to raise awareness and end stigma. NAMI of Collier County raised over $150,000 (money is still being tabulated) this year, their fourth year with a Walk program. NAMI of Collier County's walkathon was the first of many this year around the country.

Overall, NAMIWalks 2006 will raise a profile of hope in over 60 locations in 38 states during this spring, summer, and fall. The walkathons raise money for research, education, support, and advocacy. Over the previous three years, there have been 89 NAMIWalks across America with over 60,000 walkers. These Walks raised $9 million!

We've made walking or supporting a walker even easier. On the NAMI Web site we've created fun and easy tools for raising funds and awareness. Create personalized team and walker pages. Set fundraising goals, personalize a fundraising message, upload a photo and bio, and track the progress made toward a fundraising goal. Each walker can also create a personalized link to his or her personalized page to share with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Donors can make a contribution online in support of a walk in minutes -- it's fast, easy, and secure. Contributions made online with a credit card allow walkers to track their progress in real time. And donors can leave personalized messages for the walker that they are supporting.

In 2006, we expect a record-breaking year for the NAMIWalks program as more and more walkathons occur throughout America.

To learn more about the NAMIWalks program and to find a walk in your area, visit the NAMI Web site.

NIMH Studies Advance Research Base


Two clinical studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) were released recently, both within a week of opening day of the baseball season. The studies advance significantly the research base for treatment of mental illnesses.

Like America's favorite pastime, it's hard to follow the research game without a scorecard.

Known as STAR*D2 and CATIE II, the studies focused on depression and schizophrenia, and are part of the "Big Four" research initiatives that also include STEP-BD for bipolar disorder and TADS for adolescent depression. Read More...

Out of the ShadowPremieres on Television for Mental Health Month

out of the shadowDuring a 20-year journey, Millie Smiley, who lives with schizophrenia, traveled through 17 psychiatric wards, eight apartments, three boarding houses, and countless motels.

Beginning April 27, she will visit the living rooms of millions of Americans through PBS television broadcasts of out of the shadow, a powerful documentary made by her daughter, Susan Smiley. Her television debut arrives in time for Mental Health Month. Read More...

Ask the Psychiatric Pharmacist

Ask the Rx NAMI is pleased to be working with the College of Psychiatric and Neurological Pharmacists to offer a new section on the NAMI Web site where Psychiatric Pharmacists write and answer questions that they experience in the course of their work with individuals with mental illness.

Will I become addicted to the medication?  I don’t want to become addicted. Read More...

Join Us in Washington, DC, this June for NAMI's Annual Convention

NAMI Annual Convention

 NAMI's 2006 Annual Convention is just around the corner. Join us in Washington, DC June 28 to July 2 for four days of top-notch educational opportunities, our ever-popular ask-the-doctor sessions, exhibitor booths, and dozens of workshops to give you up-to-the-minute information related to mental illness.

We will also engage in a major lobbying push to spur action on the recommendations contained in the final report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health by unleashing thousands of grassroots activists to meet with Congressional representatives to demand action now! NAMI's 2006 Annual Convention is a great opportunity to become more involved in issues affecting people living with serious mental illness and to pay a visit to our nation's capital.

To find out more about NAMI's Annual Convention, including information for first-time attendees, visit the NAMI Web site.


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