At SIR Home Improvements, we’re dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families not only through our top-quality home upgrades but also through volunteer service and leadership. One of the initiatives we strongly support is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In fact, our company’s founder and owner, Frank Mumford, is president of the local organization, and three of our company’s associates are board members.
SIR Home Improvements has devoted significant volunteer services to this organization because of the widespread prevalence of mental illness and the devastating effects that families deal with as a result. In fact, studies show that 1 in 5 adults is dealing with mental health issues, and about half of those who experience lifetime effects of mental illness will begin their struggles as young as age 14. Another 25 percent will begin to experience symptoms by age 24.
Experts say people who struggle with mental illness typically delay seeking help for an average of 10 years because of the stigma that is associated with mental health problems. Therefore, it just makes sense to try to dispel the myths surrounding mental illness with education programs in middle and high schools. The NAMI-backed program called “Ending the Silence” is designed to reduce or eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness by providing helpful information to students and the professionals who work with them on a daily basis. The program includes presentations about the warning signs of mental illness and appropriate actions to take to address them. There are presentations for students, school staff, and parents.
Frank Mumford is chapter president and a NAMI-certified trainer for this program, and other SIR Home Improvements associates are program presenters. Through their efforts and others involved in NAMI, more than 1,500 students in southwest Michigan have benefited from this program, and plans are underway to reach out to another 100 schools next year.
For other resources and support groups, check out our website at www.NAMISWMICH.org.