…The NAMI California 2011 Annual Conference was incredible! Well, that’s what I hear anyway. I spent the majority of my time running. I didn’t make it to one single workshop and caught only a few glimpses of the plenary speakers. That’s always a bummer, but with the bummer comes bliss, and I sure got to experience so many amazing people in the Consumer Resource Center (where I spent my non-running time) and was able to catch a whole bunch of lightning speed hugs from all the wonderful people I exchange emails and phone calls with throughout the year.
We’ve always had a Consumer Hospitality Suite, but this was the first year that we had a Consumer Resource Center packed with volunteers offering information and peer support, mindfulness and relaxing activities, and even some NAMI Connection & Conexion Support Groups. This little brain child of mine has been brewing in my head for 4 years and it was awesome to see it come to life. Of course, any good idea is only as good as the people that execute it…thank goodness for the great volunteers that made it really special. We had 184 visits to the Consumer Resource Center this year and more than a hundred surveys with really good feedback. I’d say it was a success. We also heard some great ideas to improve next year’s conference and CRC…I can’t wait to get started!!!
For those of you that I saw at the Conference, thank you for being there. For those that weren’t able to make it, I hope to see you next year. To all of you, thank you for the work you do year round to educate people experiencing mental health challenges and their families. You are the reason we do this work and the reason we are able to do this work.
I hope you’re all out there running toward the places you need/want to be, are appreciating all of the lightning speed hugs you find along the way, and are spending your non-running moments with amazing people.
See you in 2012 in Irvine!!!