Several years ago when I was dealing with two children who had mental health issues and doing a lot of “Why me?” “Why us?” and “Why THEM?” thinking, I heard of an organization called NAMI. It sounded intriguing, so I did a little investigating and heard about a conference they were having that focused on providing families and individuals with information on how to successfully handle the myriad of challenges that arise whenever you’re dealing with mental illness.
I signed up immediately.
The conference began with various speakers, which I figured I’d try to stay awake through until we got to the really interesting stuff, which was the WORKSHOPS. Then the keynote speaker started talking, and I was spellbound. Seriously. There was definitely some magic dust floating around.
The speaker’s name was Pete Earley, and even though I was impressed by the fact that he was an important journalist and had been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his book, Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, I was more impressed that he was a parent just like me – a parent who had experienced his own frustration, confusion, sadness, anger, and yes, hopefulness – when it came to trying to find help for his child. Pete Earley’s reputation, resources and contacts may have been different than mine, but the obstacles we faced were the same.
I had the pleasure of being able to speak briefly with Mr. Earley after his presentation. He was off to catch a plane to who knows where (someplace exotic, I’m sure), but for that short period of time we were just two parents who understood each other, and who wished the world were just a little bit different for our children.
I encourage you to come experience the magic for yourself. An Evening with Pete Earley