National Alliance on Mental Illness of SWLA hosts first annual F - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

National Alliance on Mental Illness of SWLA hosts first annual Family Fun Day

National Alliance on Mental Illness of SWLA hosts first annual Family Fun Day


They turned fighting for a cause into a fun day in the sun as the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southwest Louisiana, also known as NAMI, spend an afternoon sharing their mission with the public for the first time.

“They got everyone involved and everyone is excited about it,” said local supporter Bess Thomas.

The event was held at Pinederosa Park in Westlake Saturday afternoon and featured a barbecue cookout along with family friendly games and even dancing.

NAMI of SWLA Executive Director Anastasia Armstrong says the fun day was an opportunity to inform the community on services available to those suffering from a mental illness.

“We create hope and we stand there while they’re traveling to that final destination of recovery,” said Armstrong.

NAMI of SWLA’s Family to Family educator Marion Bono says some of their services include information families of the help that’s available to them in the community and that education plays a key role in helping families cope.

“They learn about those resources and they learn how to cope,” said Bono. “It just helps them be able to reclaim their lives.”

NAMI of SWLA member Nola Ducote, whose daughter suffers from a mental illness, says she started going to classes 8 years ago and that it’s helped her tremendously.

Other supporters say events like this can help spread awareness in a different and more enjoyable way.

“You see different families and you may not understand what they’re going through,” said Thomas. "If you just come out to an event, have fun, you get some knowledge and you get to interact with individuals and you realize, there’s not much difference. So, it really does help.”

“We want to be able to get together and make sure every single member gets the respect and the dignity that they deserve,” said Armstrong.

NAMI of SWLA will host new classes for families with adults or children who suffer from a mental illness starting August.

For more information on NAMI of SWLA,

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