In 1979, at the age of 19, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. It was the first of many hospitalizations. I felt degraded; I didn’t have support, and I felt like a rag doll that nobody wanted.

When I came out of the state hospital, there was no one to talk to about what was happening to me. I lost contact with my family, as they didn’t understand me and couldn’t “fix” me.

In 1986, I moved to Springfield and got connected with Lane County Mental Health and heard a little bit about NAMI of Lane County.

Two years ago, I became involved with NAMI of Lane County as a consumer resource board member. I support NAMI and walk because families and friends need to learn, understand, and get support for what their love one is going through. I feel that NAMI helps families stay stable as they support each other and share information.

I think if my family had the support NAMI provides, perhaps I may have been able to stay in contact with them. I may have been treated with dignity.

NAMI cares and NAMI gives HOPE!!!!!! That’s why I walk.

– Sue Sammis