As we enter the cold winter months with shorter days and inclement weather, it can be harder to get out of the house, visit loved ones or socialize with friends. Even for those not living with mental health disorders, this time of year can be difficult and isolating.
For those who are living with mental health disorders, their family members and caregivers, this time of year can be especially challenging. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women, who provide the majority of family caregiving, and those living with depression or bipolar disorder are more likely to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder or Depression that follows a seasonal pattern.
Luckily, for anyone in the Philadelphia area living with a mental health disorder or their family members, NAMI is here to help. NAMI, or the National Alliance on Mental Illness, recently re-opened a Philadelphia office, located in South Philadelphia. NAMI in Philadelphia currently runs support groups, educational programs and a help line and is always there with an ear to listen. NAMI is the largest, grassroots mental health organization in the country, and it is primarily run by volunteers who live with mental illness or have family members who live with mental illnesses. In fact, the Philadelphia office has just one paid staff member, and all other staff are volunteers! This means that the people at NAMI understand the complexities of mental illness and how it impacts individuals and families.
NAMI memberships start at $40, but have sliding scale “Open Door” memberships based on income. To contact NAMI for information or support call 267-687-4381 or visit www.namiphilly.org.