On October 28th, the City of Albuquerque hosted its annual Employee Health and Benefits Fair at the Convention Center. An estimated 700 city employees attended and were able to receive free health screenings and information. The theme of this year’s fair was “Riding the Wave of Health.” Companion Care was one of nearly 100 exhibitors who participated.
Many of the attendees are in the age bracket where their parents or grandparents could benefit from in-home care support. It was a great opportunity to let the community know about Companion Care’s services for seniors who need some extra help so they can stay safe and independent in their own homes.
It was also a wonderful opportunity to touch base with many of our referral partners and to meet new ones. One of the organizations we were very happy to receive information regarding was the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) who’s mission is to help families understand what mental illness is and to provide support and education.
We were surprised to learn that New Mexico leads the nation in per capita mental illness. Despite the number of people struggling with behavioral health-related issues, mental illness is stigmatized, disregarded, and avoided. As a result, people who struggle with mental illness do not always receive the support, advocacy, or resources they need.
Mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and personality disorders.
One of the educational programs offered by NAMI, Family to Family, is a free 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with mental illnesses. Attendees learn about the clinical treatment of these illnesses. The course teaches knowledge and skills that family members need to cope with their situation.
Ongoing support groups offered through affiliates enable families to share concerns and receive practical advice on resources, treatment, and recovery.
Getting to know about this wonderful resource and helping to spread the word about it is a great example of why Companion Care participates in this fair every year.