Planned El­e­va­tion House seek­ing vol­un­teers, donors

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - Staff re­ports

Over 200 walk­ers made their way down Broad Street Satur­day, do­ing their part to help elim­i­nate the stig­mas as­so­ci­ated with men­tal ill­ness.

NAMI Rome’s Roam N Rome aware­ness event is one of many ways the or­ga­ni­za­tion spreads aware­ness on the re­al­i­ties of men­tal ill­ness in the com­mu­nity.

The Na­tional Al­liance on Men­tal Ill­ness is the na­tion’s largest grass­roots men­tal health or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to build­ing bet­ter lives for the mil­lions of Amer­i­cans af­fected by men­tal ill­ness. NAMI Rome’s main ob­jec­tive is to en­sure that in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness and their fam­i­lies have the re­sources, ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port avail­able to them to find hope and at­tain re­cov­ery.

On Satur­day, walk­ers held signs with slo­gans like “la­bels are for jars, not peo­ple,” and “never give up hope.”

“We want to re­place the ‘I’ in ‘ill­ness’ with a ‘W-E’ to make it ‘well­ness,’” Me­lanie Dal­las, CEO of High­land Rivers Health, told par­tic­i­pants.

Al­though aware­ness is an im­por­tant part of help­ing to deal with men­tal ill­ness, a sense of com­mu­nity is also vi­tal. That’s what the planned El­e­va­tion House will look to ad­dress.

“El­e­va­tion House will epit­o­mize the compassion and sup­port that each of you have in your hearts for peo­ple liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness,” said Don Scu­votti, vice pres­i­dent of NAMI Rome and founder of El­e­va­tion House told the gath­er­ing. “El­e­va­tion House fol­lows an in­ter­na­tional model where mem­bers — adults liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness — re­cover skills and hope.”

A gath­er­ing place for those af­fected by men­tal ill­ness, a lo­cal El­e­va­tion House is cur­rently in the late stages of plan­ning and could open in early 2019.

“We don’t have a place and we’re still search­ing, but we’re in­ter­ested in find­ing vol­un­teers to help for the up­com­ing months,” said Jim Moore who serves as pro­grams con­tact for NAMI Rome. Moore said the El­e­va­tion House will need vol­un­teers and the or­ga­ni­za­tion is cur­rently in­ter­ested in hear­ing from those who may be will­ing to help in the near fu­ture.

Any­one in­ter­ested in fu­ture vol­un­teer or fi­nan­cial giv­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties with the El­e­va­tion House should call 404-395-5960. To get in­volved with NAMI Rome and vol­un­teer for fu­ture events call 706-506-5010.

/ Con­trib­uted

Over 200 walk­ers made their way down Broad Street Satur­day, in an ef­fort to elim­i­nate the stig­mas as­so­ci­ated with men­tal ill­ness as part of NAMI Rome’s Roam N Rome aware­ness event.

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