This week on Community Corner, we sat down with Robin Nobling, Executive Director of the Davidson branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Robin was joined on-air by local NAMI volunteer, Bill Fondren, who actually has a vibrant history with Lightning 100 as a previous board-op and DJ!
Founded 40 years ago in Wisconsin, NAMI exists to connect people struggling with mental illness to the appropriate resources, as well as to advocate for mental health legislation and combat stigmas surrounding these topics. In fact, the organization was started by two mothers who decided it was well past the time to stop treating mental illness as something ethereal, and start treating issues of the brain as we would with any other organ.
Here in Davidson County, the NAMI team is working hard to let Middle Tennessee residents know that there is no shame in reaching out for help. As Nobling notes, mental illness can affect the lives of family members and anyone else in a person’s support system – so connecting people with the right resources can result in exponential gains in well-being among a community. Additionally, programs like “Stamping Out Stigma” are working to encourage more open and honest conversation about mental health. Volunteers like Fondren are leading by example, helping Nashvillians understand that mental illness is not their fault, and that these conditions are treatable.
For folks looking to take advantage of NAMI’s services, you can check out their website or call them at 615-891-4724. If you’re looking for ways to get involved in supporting NAMI’s programs, their annual fundraising walk is a great place start! You can start a team, help fundraise, or even get your company involved as a corporate sponsor. The virtual walk is happening now through April 17th!
For the full interview with Robin Nobling and Bill Fondren of NAMI, listen below: