NAMI Arts & Crafts Fair Saturday



Article Published: May. 24, 2012 | Modified: May. 27, 2012
NAMI Arts & Crafts Fair Saturday


This Saturday at the Boone Mall, you can not only shop well, but also shop for good.

The first annual High Country NAMI arts and crafts fair will be held this Saturday, May 26, at the Boone Mall, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and, since 1979, the grassroots organization has been improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. The local affiliate is NAMI High Country, which shares the national organization’s mission of education, advocacy and support for all people affected by mental disorders.

This fundraising event is designed to broadly appeal to “anyone interested in shopping,” according to Karen Gross, NAMI activist and teacher. The organizers hope also to reach out to people with a special interest in the mission of this non-profit. Gross explained that NAMI invites in particular “those who wish to improve their own lives or those of their loved ones through their support of NAMI High Country.”

More than 20 local artists and artisans will participate in the Saturday fair and supply a wide variety of handmade items. Local crafters will offer jewelry, pottery, hand-knit scarves, greeting cards, photography, painted gourds, soaps and candles. Ten percent of all sales will directly benefit the programs run by NAMI High Country, which will also have a presence at the event.

On Saturday, NAMI High Country will supplement the craft offerings through neighboring stations supplying information on mental illness and screening tests. Representatives from NAMI will also be on hand to discuss the various programs available in the High Country to assist individuals and their families in dealing with mental health concerns.

In addition to holding monthly meetings and featuring expert speakers about mental health, NAMI runs mental health support programs locally, such as “In Our Own Voice” and “Family to Family.”

“In Our Own Voice” is a free public education program in which speakers describe their own struggles with and recovery from mental illness. The program is designed to provide quality, in-depth education about the complex and often lengthy nature of recovering from mental illness.

“Family to Family” is a free three-month course for private caregivers of those with severe mental illnesses. In this weekly program, trained and experienced family members teach others about mental illness from numerous perspectives, including understanding the experience of those with a mental illness, current research about brain disorders and effective methods to deal with community support and medications.

The High Country chapter of NAMI covers Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties and meets the first Monday of every month at the Lois Harrill Senior Center in the Watauga Human Services Building, located at 132 Poplar Grove Road. All are invited to attend. For more information, email high_country_nami@hotmail.com or visit http://www.nami.org.

The NAMI Arts and Crafts Fair takes place from10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, May 26, at the Boone Mall, located at 1180 Blowing Rock Road in Boone.

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