Last December, an Arapahoe county family lost their son and brother to suicide. He was only 14 years old. He was mentally ill but, as his mother said, “He was so much more than that.” The boy’s parents had come to our NAMI affiliate for help just a few weeks before his death, having attended a parent workshop in November. At the workshop they found, for the first time, other parents who understood and knew what they were going through because they were dealing with the same problems. They also gained some knowledge and ideas to help them help their son in the last weeks of his life.
After he died, the couple asked for memorial donations to be sent to our affiliate. The family had many generous friends and we received an amount which would allow us to do something meaningful to honor this young man’s memory. After discussion with his parents, they decided they would like the money to be spent to bring the NAMI Basics class to Colorado. NAMI Basics is a 6-week class for parents and caregivers of children with mental health and behavioral issues. It teaches caregivers how to support their children at home, at school and in healthcare settings. If you know NAMI’s Family to Family class, NAMI Basics is a parallel class focusing on a younger age group.
NAMI Basics in Colorado in now a reality! On August 1 and 2, sixteen people from all across Colorado gathered in Denver to be trained as NAMI Basics teachers. They will take this important class back to their communities to help other parents like the ones who lost their son. This family now knows that their son’s legacy is help for families like him and kids like him all over Colorado.
- Gina Moore