Since the beginning of time, the only thing in the world that is absolutely predictable is change. “Nothing endures but change,” said Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, around 500 BC. A century later, Plato, another Greek philosopher, suggested a similar idea when he said, “Comparing time to the flow of a river, it is not possible to step into the same river twice.” This notion, that change (recent, current and anticipated) is always with us, is repeated by philosophers and writers from all over the world, in every religious belief system and in every period of history. Change, indeed, never varies in its certainty.
Change can be paradoxically frightening, challenging and exhilarating in turns. It can even be all three simultaneously. For people living with mental illness, and those who love, live with, work with and support them, there are many levels of change that must be met every day.
Right now, the world is changing so rapidly it feels difficult to keep up, even on a day-to-day basis. Changes in our own lives may feel like drops of water sprayed from the rushing river, but all is in flux – family structures, neighborhoods, communities, technology, public institutions, workforce realities, health care options, national and global economies, and modes of communication and connection are just a blur of motion through the rapids. Sometimes we feel swept along, and other times we want to stop the rush, control the river, contain the disquiet that change brings. Regardless whether the change is positive or problematic, change impacts us every day.
NAMI helps individuals change their own lives for the better, through knowledge, inspiration and support. When we understand the degree to which we can affect change, or not, we can make decisions in our best interests and in the interests of those living with mental illness. NAMI’s programs promote strength in recovery and resiliency in the face of unexpected change.
NAMI connects people in communities and builds strong partnerships with other nonprofit and faith organizations, mental/behavioral/physical health care providers, public funders and private donors, elected officials, researchers, teachers, parents and advocates.
At the 2017 NAMI Washington state conference, we want to explore the theme of “The Challenge of Change: Promise and Progress in Mental Health.” We are looking for workshop proposals, speakers and experiences for attendees to come to a deeper understanding of how we respond to change and our successes in driving change on personal and community levels.
The 2016 Annual NAMI Washington State Conference
The Road to Recovery: Mental Health Matters
September 30th - October 2nd, 2016
Red Lion Hotel - Port Angeles, Washington
Hosted with NAMI Clallam County
NAMI Washington and NAMI Clallam County welcomed over 180 participants and 40 speakers from across the state for the annual state conference. We heard from state leaders with the Department of Social and Health Services Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, Western State Hospital, the Department of Corrections, as well as wonderful keynotes by Dr. Joshua Jones of the Olympic Medical Center and Jim Vollendroff of King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division. We were honored to welcome NAMI National Executive Director Mary Giliberti who travelled from Virginia to be with us. Saturday evening we recognized the retiring Senator James Hargrove with the NAMI Lifetime Public Service Award; Senator Hargrove championed the legislation which allows counties to pass a 1/10th of 1% tax to raise funds exclusively for mental health programs. We were excited to have our Friday plenary sessions recorded by TWV (link coming soon), and welcomed the Peninsula Daily News which published an article in their Sunday edition.
The theme of the 2016 NAMI Washington State Conference - The Road to Recovery: Mental Health Matters - reflects our deep commitment to provide information and support to those who struggle, and to also recognize and celebrate those who seek and find recovery. Taking an active part in one's own recovery involves self-awareness, persistence and support from peers and others. The conference's keynotes and sessions highlighted the many roads to recovery and how individuals' journeys add up to meaningful, positive, experiences of living with mental illness; deeper, more effective involvement of families, friends and advocates; and stronger, more responsive systems of care.
Download conference presentations by clicking on the presentation names below:
CODE: The Movie (Correctional Officer De-Escalation Education) can be purchased at http://codethemovie.org/buy-code/
NAMI Washington thanks Nancy Winberg for design of the annual conference logo