I have big news. BIG.
Since we were last "together" here in this space, I was invited to apply for a job with NAMI San Diego. Now, as you may or may not know, I am a big supporter of the work NAMI does. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has been there for me when my husband and I didn't know where to turn when dealing with our son's illness. NAMI Texas was there for me when I was looking for a helper to assist me with a Guardianship order for my son (read more here). They put me in touch with one of their board members who knew of a lawyer in that area who could help me, and she did. About that time, my husband and I took the Family to Family class, and received a TON of support, education, and learned about becoming an advocate for not only our son, but my husband's brother, who suffers from Schizophrenia. During that period, when I was fighting our insurance company for continued care for our son, I was educated by written literature NAMI supplies on their website. (You know I won a major victory in that fight, right?!) After taking the Family to Family class, I was invited to become a teacher of this powerfully life changing class, and I gladly accepted. I taught my first class this past Spring, and really have to say that it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Along with my team teacher and the class participants,
We all had the incredibly rich and rewarding experience in working as a group to learn how to best support a loved one who suffers from a debilitating mental illness.Over the summer, it was brought to my attention that NAMI San Diego would soon be taking over the contract for the CYFL, or the Children, Youth and Family Liaison. The CYF Liaison are the connective helpers between the San Diego County Behavioral Health System of Care and the families who use these services. Supportive services are brought to the public through workshops, training, speakers, blog writing, focus groups and webinars. The CYF Liaison also acts as the Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) resolution point-of-contact for issues within the CYF Behavioral Health System of Care.
I invite you to meet the new Coordinator for the CYFL program: ME!Honestly, I couldn't be more proud. Here I am after nearly ten years spent advocating for my son in ways I didn't know how, but as a mom will do, I made my way through it as best I could. Here I am after nearly ten years with the lived experience this CYFL program requires as a job prerequisite. (Who even knew this was such a thing?) Here I am after ten years of petitioning for my son as best I knew how, and being invited to bring my knowledge base to other families who are struggling with this very same thing, and searching for answers just like I was. Wow...
So, please know this: the work we do as Moms (and Parents) in the Arena who know what it takes to fight the tough fight is big, important work. Once we learn tools that help our loved ones, and figure out the things that work within our family, we can take this information outside the family arena and bring it to the table of Advocacy. This is powerful and important work, and I am very happy to do this work! :o)
To learn more about the CYF Liaison and NAMI San Diego, please visit our website by clicking here. You can reach us directly via email at CYFLiaison@namisd.org or contact us via phone at (858) 987-2980. You can leave me a comment here and I will make sure your needs are addressed and met. We are here to help!