Stories from NAMI Members: Dale Mann

Dear Members and Friends of NAMI North Carolina:

When we received a shocking mental illness diagnosis for our younger son, we were surprised, baffled, and concerned; but we came together to face it. Our older son has always said that his smart, strong-willed brother, psychologist father, and teacher mother made a great team. Our psychiatrist suggested our son get back to college and helped him apply for and receive an Eli Lilly Reintegration Scholarship. Our son wanted to continue his sports commitment and convinced the university track and cross country coach that he could be ready for competition in the fall. We bought an old RV and headed out on a cross country trip from Colorado to the Pacific Ocean. That summer while our son got used to medication and his illness, he ran miles every day along rivers, farms, and beaches. We all came home ready to tackle the challenges. Our son had wonderful years while completing a college degree and competing each year for the track and cross country teams. His last two years at the university were on full athletic scholarships.

We thought we were moving forward; but, after a decade of optimism and with the accomplishment of a college degree, we were stuck. We found an article about a NAMI family education course and my wife agreed to the commitment. A few years after that while visiting our older son here in North Carolina, we attended a NAMI family support group in Wake County and our son attended his first Connection support group. We decided to take home what we had found here in North Carolina. And we did.

We have been members of NAMI in Colorado and in North Carolina for years. Our involvement with and belief in the value of NAMI programs has only grown. NAMI NC trained my wife as a Family to Family teacher and both of us as Family Support Group facilitators. I also became a Family to Family teacher and am currently a board member at NAMI NC. As support group facilitators and state trainers of facilitators we have learned so much. As teachers we appreciate each opportunity to provide the NAMI family education programs for families struggling with mental health challenges.

NAMI has had an incredible impact on our family, and we are proud to support their work in North Carolina. We invite you to join us through financial support of the organization in this critical time. NAMI NC depends on your support to continue to provide education, support, advocacy, and public awareness for those affected by mental illness in North Carolina.

Dale Mann
NAMI North Carolina Board Member

You can make a donation to NAMI NC online using this form or by mail to:

NAMI North Carolina
309 West Millbrook Road
Raleigh, NC 27609