NAMI Southwestern Illinois

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Important Messages

Executive Director
October 25, 2019
Green Ribbon

Have you ever made a gratitude list?


Snippet 1: Try jotting down a few things each day that you are grateful for. It is a great way to learn how to stay focused on the positive and “in the moment”. Sometimes we get so bogged down with our own lives…our thoughts, our activities, our relationships with others... that we fail to see the good things that are happening in our life. This upcoming holiday season can add more stress to what you are already experiencing. Please keep in mind the tools that you have learned and use them to cope with stress in a healthy way, before it takes over your mind and body. Remember that most of our stress is a direct result of how we are looking at a given situation, and what we expect as a result. You can change your thoughts, which in turn affects the way you feel and act. You need courage and an ability to be persistent in not giving up, in order to take that step towards change. It’s easier to stay with the familiar, even when it isn’t working for us, than to try something new. The fear of failure is what keeps us entrenched in ineffective ways of managing our lives.

So make a resolution right now to find better ways to deal with the stress that comes with trying to control a situation or another person...that leads to a dead end street. Instead focus on your own actions that will bring you the results you want. If you need some support along the way, take advantage of our support groups and educational classes … or, how about volunteering in some capacity to keep your mind off of yourself for a while. You will find the listing for these events, and opportunities for volunteering, at NAMI SWI in our October-November 2019 Issue of the Newsletter … Just some thoughts …

Spending time with people who care …


Snippet 2: Remember that the precious memories of this holiday season do not come from the gifts we buy, or the food we eat, but rather from the company we keep. Spending time with people who care about you comprise the memories you tend to keep in your mind and heart. Be cautious about spending too much money and creating debt that will then come back to “bite you in the foot” and stress you out even more. Try giving gifts with meaning and that cost little to no money, like a special time together, or offering help to those you know who are in need. The gratification you both give and receive in doing that is priceless. Your kids want time with you, or perhaps your spouse, or a significant other in your life would enjoy a night out, or washing their car, or cleaning their homes or even an hour of your time just listening to them. This might sound corny but it is absolutely true. When you think that the number 1 reason for divorce is finances, that says a great deal about the pressure finances can put on a relationship. In my years as a credit counselor, I found that my counseling skills were needed more than teaching money management skills. Stressing out about money robs you of your peace and stability. Caution … don’t let the lure of spending this season drag you under. Be creative, cost-efficient and focus on what you can give of your time and other resources, so that you can begin this new year on the right foot. I believe that 2020 holds great opportunities for us here at NAMI SWI, so stay with us and keep abreast of all the good things that are going to continue happening over this next year …

Our goal is to help you achieve a life of wellness and empowerment


Snippet 3: Please know that at NAMI SWI we care about our family, YOU, and we want to walk through your journey of recovery with you. We can help ease the pain of loneliness and isolation that so often accompanies living with a mental illness, or watching a loved one struggle in their life. We have a Helpline (618-798-9788) that offers referrals to resources you may need, and to be a warm voice on the receiving end that listens and responds to your need for some kind of intervention. We are NOT a crisis line, but we are a friend who understands what it is like to navigate a mental health system that is often difficult to access without assistance and support. We have lots of resources to support your recovery. Our goal is to help you achieve a life of wellness and empowerment, which we know is attainable and improves the overall quality of your life. If you’re not a member, join us today. If you need help, call us for assistance in finding that help for you or your loved one.

BellWe want to be there for you. … Happy Holidays to you all!



Thank you to all board members, project leaders, members, and volunteers!!! Kris Gamm-Smith, M. A. ,  kgpgammsmith@namiswi.org