LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A local mental health center has finally moved into its own space after four years.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Lansing, or NAMI, has moved out of a small office in McLaren Greater Lansing, into its own suite.
While Mental Health Month just wrapped up at the end of May, the topic is still on the minds of many. Last week, there was a tragic incident where an Okemos High School student died by suicide.
On Wednesday, both the Michigan Legislature and NAMI Lansing each expanded resources for mental health.
“It might be quite an invisible illness, but its not invisible to the person whose dealing with it,” said Patti McDonald, who does social media with NAMI.
Mental health is something more people are struggling with right now, according to advocates with NAMI of Lansing.
“It’s more common that people are dealing with things like this than not,” McDonald said.
“There are so many stressors in the world and it seems like they are just increasing by the day,” said Kevin Keeler, President of NAMI Lansing.
Keeler says that’s why opening this new facility is vital to addressing mental illness in the Capital City.
“We are people that have either lived with mental illnesses, or have family members with mental illnesses, so we know what they are going through,” Keeler said.
Someone who knows that first hand, is McDonald.
“I struggle with anxiety and depression, and things like that. I literally felt alone, I felt like no one else was experiencing what I was experiencing,” McDonald said.
She works with NAMI of Lansing’s social media, and she says mental illness can impact people of all ages, but said there should particularly be a focus on young people.
Addressing mental illness is also on the minds of the Michigan Legislature.
On Wednesday, they passed a bill allocating $35 million to expand mental health services in the state.
These are resources Keeler says are vital towards creating more outlets like NAMI, a place for people to turn to.