On November 13, I gratefully accepted a grant awarded by the Community Healthy Initiative/Nantucket Cottage Hospital on behalf on NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands on Nantucket. With this grant we plan to continue our campaign for mental wellness on Nantucket through 2020. 

In my brief acceptance speech, I spoke of normalizing the conversation about mental health. As part of our continued advertising, an anti -stigma message will be incorporated. We will be calling for a continuum of care for everyone by promoting the services that we do have on the island. We will continue to market the William James Help Line which NAMI on Nantucket is sponsoring for the second year as an islander’s resource in seeking mental health services. 

The concept of integrated health care (the inclusion of mental health in primary health care) from pediatrics to geriatrics will also be a focal point. Mental health issues are not due to a moral failing. They are illnesses, like other illnesses such as diabetes or cancer. One in four adults in this country is experiencing a mental health issue at any given time. We need to provide mental health services at the same level as we provide other health services. Our well-being depends on it.