Victoria mental health group will have to close

Nov. 24, 2012 at 5:24 a.m.

It is with great sadness that I must step down, for my own health, from a position with NAMI Victoria (National Alliance on Mental Illness). It is with even greater sadness and disappointment that another reason is from not enough people in our community caring enough to get involved to help the mentally ill and their families live a better life working at staying in recovery. NAMI National and NAMI Austin have put together many programs over the last 30 years to educate the public so they could understand their loved ones' mental illness.

Also, NAMI teaches all of the public that mental illness is something you are mostly born with, just like many other birth defects. And it is certainly not a reason to feel ashamed of how God made you the way you are. It is totally unbelievable how many people are walking around with mental illness and refuse to acknowledge it because of what someone would think of them. Some of the most brilliant people in the world have some kind of mental illness, and they are still productive citizens with jobs while working at staying in recovery. Many of these so-called mentally ill folks are brilliant human beings, and God made them this way for a reason. There is a reason why we are not all alike. So before you make fun of or look down upon someone who is not classified perfect to your estimation, remember you are not perfect either. Only God is!

Trying to successfully run our area affiliate since January 2005 with very few dedicated volunteers who were able to spend the time needed to actually take over part of many responsibilities has been rough, to say the least. There were so many programs that we could not bring to Victoria due to lack of volunteer participation. So the Crossroads of Texas missed out on some valuable education, free of charge.

And like most organizations, you had a few who really wanted to volunteer for their personal agenda, so that did not work out. All in all, I feel we did a good job while and when we could. We had maybe a dozen volunteers over the years who did give of their time graciously and faithfully, and without those people, we could not have lasted this long or kept on helping as many people as possible. I sincerely thank those of you who worked so hard to help, and I will miss you dearly. So many of you with your kindness made my life worthy and kept me working toward a better Victoria. I also want to thank all the businesses that did help out from time to time by donating money to pay for supplies to pay for our educational newsletters: Gulf Bend, Twin Pines, Dr. John Bouras, Victoria Study Club, Parkway Church, St. Francis Episcopal Church, Quail Creek Municipal Utilities District and many small donations that helped pay for a lot of pamphlets and the printing of our newsletters. All the non-paid volunteers and the wonderful speakers who would come and speak at our meetings, giving us free education. God bless you all from the bottom of my heart. And I don't want to forget the Victoria Advocate trying to get the word out. Maybe someone more able and better qualified for this job will step up to the plate and continue trying to make a difference.

Patsy Weppler is the current president of the Victoria National Alliance on Mental Illness affiliate, which will close Dec. 31. However, there will still be occasional support group meetings. Readers with questions or comments can contact Weppler at 361-550-7231.



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