Social Distancing Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Be Social & Help Those In Need

(4-21-20) Social distancing is the wrong term. It should be called ‘physical distancing’ but we should continue to be social through phone calls, emails and services such as Facetime and Zoom.

That’s the message Gabe Howard, one of my favorite advocates, is spreading as part of a creative effort by the National Alliance On Mental Illness Tennessee state affiliate to help its members and those with mental illnesses stay connected and support each other during the Covid-19 pandemic.

NAMI Tennessee Executive Director Jeff Fladen launched NAMI AT HOME BUT NOT ALONE a few weeks ago and it has proven to be popular and helpful.

“I don’t know about you but for me it is getting harder to stay away from people every day,” Fladen explained. “Things are so confusing… I truly encourage people to try to be as patient as possible while our medical and healthcare community can figure out a good balance between saving our economy and avoiding unnecessary risk. I hope and pray that those with mental illness and other disabilities are part of this equation.”

NAMI Tennessee has conducted online support groups via the Internet and yesterday it hosted a live Facebook chat. Gabe Howard, author of Mental Illness is an A**hole, has contributed advice videos about such topics as how families can avoid conflicts while cooped up in a home.

On April 27, Roger and Denise Stewart will present Unfractured Lives on the NAMI Tennessee Facebook page at 3 pm CST/4 pm Eastern. During it, they will share their personal stories about how a husband and wife – one of whom has an illness and the other is a caregiver – navigate the challenges and triumphs of a life together.

How are support groups in your community helping individuals in need? Are they continuing to meet via the Internet? Please share on my Facebook page what is happening where you live so others can be inspired and launch their own programs.

And remember, we may be at home, but you are not ALONE!

About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.