Saturday, May 3, 2014

Reaching Out To The Mentally Ill And Desperately Poor

Sam with Dr Ruiz, president of the World Psychiatric Association
My good friend Sam Nickels grew up with a brother who struggled with schizophrenia. As a result he became deeply committed to supporting individuals and families dealing with mental illness.

From 1995-2000 Sam worked with Mennonite Central Committee in El Salvador. While there he was moved by the terrible conditions of patients in that country's psychiatric hospital, and by the complete absence of community services. As a result, he partnered with a Salvadoran nonprofit, the Center for Health and Human Development, to begin a family education and support program in 2002 called Mental Health International.

Over the years the program added a psychosocial group and a program to help the mentally ill get out of their homes and to find employment, along with doing other advocacy and community education activities

Now his vision has expanded to starting similar self-help groups across Central America.

Mental Health International deserves our support. Please visit his website or Facebook page for more information.

And join me in making a generous donation.
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