NAMI Fresno Director Speaks Out Against Stigma

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | NAMI Fresno

Attn local friends: While looking for something on the KMPH news FB feed, I see that a person by the name of Shawn Polzin shared a screenshot of my post thanking Save Mart for their decision to discontinue the purchase of 51Fifty energy drink. His comments are that people like me (posted with screenshot of my post) are “bored and miserable”. I am posting this because I saw we have mutual friends. I am not sure how he received that screenshot but I wanted to clear the air for him and everyone else. I assure you that I am NOT bored, nor am I miserable. Personally, I am quite happy with life in general. Also wanted others to know what this man said about me, as far as I know we are not friends, nor acquaintances. Mr. Polzin, I dedicate my time educating and helping individuals and families living with mental health crisis in their lives. I spend countless hours listening to the hell they live while they or their loved one loses friends, family members, social circles, jobs, and fight for their lives. I help them navigate a broken system and struggle to find help with little to no resources sometimes for their need and watching their loved one slip closer to crisis, which may include being placed on a 5150 hold, losing their rights to freedom for up to 72 hours while they stabilize with their mental illness. Often, our first encounters are after the hold has been placed. Not a madness they chose to live. I help them understand the difficult journey, the system, the need to not be afraid to reach out for help and to remember to care for their own wellness through it all. I hear no hope in their voices when we start, and I work damn hard to help them find hope they lost. This does not make me miserable and you can see from the comments in feed that there is much work to be done to fight stigma, so I am not bored. I am very proud of who I am and even more proud of what I do. Thank you, friends, for letting me clear the air on his misunderstanding of who I am. I’ll say it again, it is easy to stand up and support a company that is perceived to be giving back to the community when you are unaware of the impact of an inappropriate marketing campaign. It is NOT easy to stand up for yourself when you are living with mental illness when you know this is the result of that action. Enjoy your day, good people! ‪#‎endstigmafresno‬ ‪#‎51Fifty‬

Christina A. Valdez-Roup, Director NAMI Fresno 



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