EVENT DATE: Aug 24, 2013
Hey everyone! I'm holding a fundraiser to help end the stigma for people living with mental illnesses. Portrayal of mental illnesses in the media and in films has not always been accurate. This has created a culture of misunderstanding and fear of those suffering from a mental illness. As someone who is very familiar with the burden of a mental illness, I would like to help foster a more informed and fearless community.
Personally, I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. With this, I often worry about many everyday activities and events. Many of my friends don't know about my illness and I feel like the past years I have done a good job of hiding my symptoms. I am currently a rising senior in high school, and school can be quite stressful which in turn magnified my anxiety. As my junior progressed it was harder an harder to hide when I would have a panic episode. Eventually I told my few close friends. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Having them support me and be open to understanding has been invaluable. They help me through even the roughest of days. Without them I wouldn't have had the courage to speak up against the stigma that has arisen for mental illnesses. They gave me the strength to entirely embrace who I am and show that I have nothing to be ashamed about. I am the same person I was before they knew about my illness, and I always will be. I want to help those in the future to not have to hide who they are because they are worrying about the judgment of society.
The organization I am raising money for is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization. They aim to better the lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illnesses. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, support, and research. I believe education is the key to eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. Society's views contribute highly to whether or not someone may seek help. Opening people's minds to others' differences will in turn allow for a more open and understanding community. Studies have found that approximately 1 in 6 adults live with a brain related illness, many of which can go unnoticed. Through medication and therapy, someone with a mental illness can live a completely healthy life.
The fundraiser that I'm having is going to be at Player's Bar and Grill located next to Weis in the Waverly Woods shopping center and the address is listed below. The owner has agreed to donate a portion of the profits from the food sales that night. I will also be selling T-shirts that I have designed specifically for this event. The event will also feature a local band followed by an open mic night. If you are unable to attend, I have set up this account to accept donations that will go directly to NAMI. If you are interested in ordering a T-shirt but cannot attend the event, please contact me directly at email@example.com
Thank you for reading this and I hope you will support my efforts towards creating a better environment for those of us who are currently fighting individual battles!