I attended the National Alliance on Mental Illness Conference from June 27 to June 30. There were literally dozens of workshops offered to the over 2000 attendees on everything from schizophrenia to bi-polar disorder to manic depression to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa. There were workshops held concerning the growing population of Hispanics in the US, the high rate of depression and unemployment among college students and seminars on Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders. A gallery of photographs done by people with mental illnesses was presented. I made it a point to network with as many people from across the United States as I could. I met many people, professionals and consumers from all walks of life who have direct experience with mental illness and I listened intently to the devastating stories they had to tell. It was an overwhelming experience and I hope to attend and possibly present a consumer workshop next year in Washington DC. Thanks so much to all folks who allowed me to attend. It was an experience I will never forget. Remember as the theme of the conference said: Together we can make a difference. Believe me we really can one day at a time one student a day.
Thanks again until next month your friend, Ronald A Valerin – President