12th Annual NAMI Walk interview w/Wendy Sample & Pam Dunham
Join Wendy Sample, Pam Dunham and me tomorrow as we discuss the state of mental health care. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, In 2012, there were an estimated 9.6 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. with Severe Mental Illness, representing 4.1 percent of all U.S. adults. Mental health issues touch every family yet many find few services available. The 12th annual NAMI Northwest Walk will be held on Sunday, May 18, at the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland. Registration begins at noon and the walk which is a 5K (3.2 miles) begins at 1 pm. The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Oregon (NAMI Oregon) is a statewide grassroots organization with more than 1,700 members in 14 affiliates; it is one of 50 state organizations that comprise the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Our mission is to improve the quality of life of individuals living with mental illness and their families and loved ones through education, support, and advocacy. The statewide toll-free Helpline (800-343-6264) is answered by trained volunteers and staff who provide information and referrals to mental health resources. Wendy has worked as a community-relations professional for 25 years. In that time she has gathered armfuls of inspiring stories, of how people manage to get through their day – and a do whole lot more than just that – while remaining happy, enthusiastic … sometimes even elated about it all. Wendy knows something about the other side of happiness, too … about the struggles of the one in four Americans who are dealing each day with some form of mental illness. That’s because Wendy’s sister, who will celebrate her 60th birthday this year, has lived for decades with schizophrenia. Through devotion to her sister, through a desire to help others like her, and through her commitment to helping us all better understand mental illness, Wendy is an active member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, also known as “NAMI.” She is chairing the NAMIWalk for Multnomah County being held May 18 in Portland. For more information on NAMIWalk May 18 or to sign up for my Wendy works team go to: http://namiwalks.nami.org/wendyworks Pam Dunham is a retired Foreign Service Officer who served at U.S. embassies in Rome, Bangkok, Ankara and Nassau. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she served as Tri-Met’s spokesperson, as general manager of Portland Energy Conservation, Inc., and as a public relations consultant to local governments and hospitals. She has served on several non-profit boards, both in Portland and overseas, and presently volunteers at the Oregon History Museum, where she is a docent; at OHSU Hospital, where she teaches English and serves on the spiritual care team; and at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where she teaches classes for families dealing with mental health issues. She studied at PSU and has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. For the last few years, Pam has come in first or second among online fund-raisers in the Oregon NAMIWalk.