On Saturday, May 18, 2019, I was honored to lead our LK Team: Marion’s Marchers— in a 5K walk on the beach in Rye—a perfect setting for support, healing and hope.
Why does our firm support NAMI? Why is the work so important? NAMI creates a network and community of support where there often is none and aligns with our firm’s mission of helping the vulnerable and those with disabilities. Mental health conditions can be disabling and depression is the leading cause of disability world-wide. We help individuals and their families navigate the complex legal system and ensure that public institutions meet their legal obligations under federal law. Even trained professionals often do not understand the affirmative obligations to comply with the IDEA in public schools or to comply with Section 504 or the ADA in institutions receiving federal funding or providing public accommodations. Finding the right services, support and accommodations takes time and work. Representing the isolated and disenfranchised and advocating for legal rights for those stigmatized and misunderstood represents a public justice issue.
NAMI provides support and groups that help with recovery. For those who live with a mental illness, the isolation can be devastating. For families trying to help, the effects of isolation reverberate and often friends disappear or do not know what to do.When there is a crisis, very few reach out or bring flowers or meals, unlike with a devastating physical illness.
Sadly, the only time there is significant outreach may be after a suicide. We need to reach out and do more. NAMI Westchester provides support for the quiet crises and reminds us all that we need to end stigma and understand that mental illness is a human condition that affects all–often including the most sensitive and creative individuals.
Thank you to NAMI for all the work and for the great walk. Thank you to our dedicated attorneys, staff and family members who participated. We had a great team turn-out, including our mascot, Sirius, my sweet and overzealous Labrador who failed out of guiding eye dog school due to his attention, anxiety and behavioral issues. We were proud to participate and to be a Kick Off Sponsor!