By Alyssa Schnugg
Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to learn more about mental illnesses and where to find support in dealing with them.
The Oxford Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers two free mental health support groups that meet at the Lafayette County & Oxford Public Library.
One support group is for people with a mental health condition and the other is there for the family members of a loved one with a mental illness.
“NAMI provides support, resources, and – above all – hope in our struggle with mental health conditions,” said Mary Harrington, Oxford NAMI board president. “If you or someone you know needs help with a mental health condition, please consider joining one of our groups.”
According to NAMI, more than 431,000 adults in Mississippi have a mental health condition and 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.
In Mississippi, 120,000 adults have a serious mental illness and 27,000 children ages 12-17 have been diagnosed with depression.
On average, one person in the U.S dies by suicide every 11 minutes. In Mississippi, 421 people died by suicide in 2020, according to NAMI.
For more information on the support groups, call Clarice at 662-816-0469 or Hanne at 662-234-9572 for the family support group.
There is a 24-hour Helpline at 800-950-NAMI, and a crisis line which can be reached by texting NAMI to 741741.
The NAMI HelpLine is a free, nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals and support to people living with a mental health condition, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public.
Visit NAMI.org for more information and resources.