Last year nearly 40 Pomegranate team members, friends and family members walked to support NAMI- National Alliance on Mental Illness, Franklin County Chapter, and raise over $1000 to help provide pro-bono counseling, workshops and community education. Pomegranate associates wore Pomegranate flower-hued T-shirts emblazoned with ‘Pomegranate Health Systems Adolescent Psychiatry’ to show the team Pom Kid spirit as they walked a mile around Fred Beekman Park, which is on the west Ohio State University campus park area South of Lane Avenue. It was a beautiful day and a positive opportunity to make a difference and bond outside the hospital and treatment facility. This year’s walk is June 1st.
The NAMI fact sheet states that “One in four adults-approximately 57.7 million Americans- experience a mental health disorder in a given year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder and about one in 10 children live with a serious mental or emotional disorder.” (Source: US HHS Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General) The executive director of NAMI National explained in his ‘Grading the States’ 2006 talk that treatment works when you can get it, but many don’t get the treatment they need. The fact sheet goes on to explain that “Fewer than one-third of adults and one-half of children with a diagnosable mental disorder receive mental health services in a given year.’
It’s important to recognize signs and symptoms in children, as ‘half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, three-quarters by age 24.’ (Kessler, Berglund, Demler, Jin, Merikangas & Walters General Psychiatry, 62, June 2005). Significantly, ’70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental disorder with at least 20% experiencing significant functional impairment from a serious mental illness.’ (Skowyra, Cocozza, 2007 Blueprint for change. National Center for MH and JJ; Policy Research Associates, Inc. ) The class of serious disorders include: schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, bi-polar disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, co-occuring mental health and addiction disorders.
NAMI offers a course called “Basics: Caring for you, your family, your child” which helps families understand the experience and emotional reactions. The course presents the latest research covering biology of mental illness, treatment strategies and problem solving. Mental illness affects the entire family. The course is free, and class schedules can be access through http://www.namifc.org or call 614-501-6264. There is also information on the national website at http://www.nami.org.
Pomegranate team captains this year include April, Quality & Compliance Manager, and Lori, Wellness nurse; ‘Cia’ will serve as communications liaison. Pomegranate CEO, Angela Nickell says, “Supporting NAMI is important to us, caring for over 1000 teens in the past few years, we realize the family and the community are an integral part of healing, offering hope, and promoting resilience.”
[Photo credit: Team Pom Kid at the 2012 NAMI Walk]