Charity Partner – NAMI Hamilton County

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Dr. House, aka Hugh Laurie, leading the NAMI
“Normal’s Overrated” t-shirt campaign.

The Steampunk Community is a wonderful collection of creative people and eccentrics, but sometimes that eccentricity is the tip of the iceberg and underneath the surface is lifelong struggle with mental illness. There is a deeply entrenched stigma associated with mental illness, and unlike physical illnesses it often remains hidden for fear of being judged. Mental illness, however, can sometimes be the source of enormous creativity and flights of the imagination; many great artists and writers used their manic depression to make masterpieces, and in the Steampunk Community we witness this unorthodox innovation at work.

Manic Fox 2013

Manic Fox!

In 2013, after many years of not knowing or understanding, I was diagnosed as having bipolar. This came as a surprise to some, and not such a surprise to others. It took a while to adjust to this new knowledge, but as GI Joe used to say, “Knowing is half the battle,” and with the learning that I have gained since being diagnosed I am now able to live better and avoid many of my past errors. I am therefore personally proud to announce that the Steampunk Empire Symposium has formed a charity partnership with NAMI and their Cincinnati branch in Hamilton County.

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.

Mental illness affects everyone. Nearly 60 million Americans experience a mental health condition every year. Regardless of race, age, religion or economic status, mental illness impacts the lives of at least one in four adults and one in 10 children across the United States.

People living with mental illness need help and hope: they need a community that supports them, their families and their recovery.

Because mental illness devastates the lives of so many Americans, NAMI works every day to save every life.

NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs.

To learn more about the national NAMI campaign click here, or to learn more about the local NAMI – Hamilton County please click here.

As some of you will know, Hugh Laurie (featured above) started in a comedy duo with Stephen Fry; to learn more about bipolar, also known as manic depression, I highly recommend Fry’s documentary about his personal experiences with mental illness . . . if you have the time, it is well worth watching.

 

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