CAMI: Needing Volunteers & Gathering Support

I am proud to be a part of a dynamic and enthusiastic effort to bring to the Saipan community a mental health awareness group, CAMI-CNMI (Coalition on the Anti-Stigmas of Mental Illness in the CNMI). There is such erroneous beliefs and fears about mental illness in the world, especially here in the Northern Mariana Islands. As founder of CAMI-CNMI: Coalition on the Anti-Stigmas of Mental Illness in the CNMI, my desire and hope is that together as we get volunteers in the community involved in the lives of our mental health consumers and join together in shared activities that we will wipe out these terrible stigmas of mental illness here on our islands. I want to thank Kaye Christian for sharing in this dream of mine to remove these fears and beliefs that haunt the mental health clients. Kaye and I both believe that by getting people to share in activities (like doing arts & crafts, going bowling, taking a walk on the beach path, learning origami or Bon dance, go watch a movie...and so much more) that people will see for themselves that mental illness is not contagious, that clients are human beings like you and me, and that all anyone really needs is to "connect" with others in this world. The only limitation is our imagination and our willingness to come and hangout with our brothers and sisters in the mental health community. I am passionate to work with Kaye and my wife Miwa, both co-founders of CAMI-CNMI, to help make this a reality.

Those of you living in the CNMI can help, in fact we really need your help. Go to CAMI-CNMI: Coalition on the Anti-Stigmas of Mental Illness in the CNMI and leave your comments, feedback, and/or suggestions. If you are a blogger, please link to the CAMI-CNMI blog and help us spread the word about needing volunteers.

But above all else, we need "a Real Helping Hand." Please let me know how you would like to be a part of CAMI-CNMI. Whether you jump ropes, teach Japanese, do arts & crafts, play sports, anything that you love to do or are good at - please share your skills and talents with us. I look forward to meeting and visiting you all in the upcoming days, weeks, and months ahead as we collaborate on ways to help rid our islands of the stigmas of mental illness.

[Update]: I have received very positive feedback and support for our CAMI-CNMI project from people in the community. Several educators and a mental health clinician are lending their support to our cause. One teacher today told me she's planning to come to our meeting. Thank you!

Posted bySteve Nguyen at 1/19/2007 06:50:00 PM  

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