Michelle Staubach Grimes, daughter of famed quarterback Roger Staubach, will speak about her battles with mental illness at the NAMI Greater Athens luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 9 at First United Methodist Church in Athens.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is launching a new season in the Greater Athens area in hopes of providing a unique opportunity to support “Breaking the Silence” against mental illness in our community. The goal is to meet the growing need for mental health programs and services in the region.
Mental illnesses can be defined as medical conditions that can interfere with a person’s thinking, feelings, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functions. One in four adults and one in ten children, or about 60 million Americans, suffer from a mental health disorder each year.
Mental illnesses include, but are not limited to, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and others.
Grimes, who struggles with depression and anxiety, has an incredible story to tell that begins when she was a child. Her father’s words, “There’s nothing you can do that would make me stop loving you,” are what encouraged her to open up and break the stigma behind mental illness.
Although she was in a famous family, her childhood was actually quite normal. Staubach made sure he was home by 5 p.m. and took the kids to school. His parents were a solid and devoted couple to the family.
In first year, Grimes obsessed over death and cried all the time. Once in fifth grade, she became obsessed with handwashing and praying and was convinced she had a brain tumor. She didn’t really confront her battles and what was going on internally until she was in her thirties and had her last child. Her internist informed her that she needed to sort out what was going on inside and she started seeing a psychiatrist and taking medication.
Grimes is now in his 50s and wants others to know they are not alone. Her story is much more detailed and she will develop her experience, strength and hope during the Breaking the Silence luncheon.
She is also the author of two children’s books and signed editions will be available for purchase at the event. The heart of her first child’s story is about finding purpose, being kind and thanking people and the second book is about trying new things.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The organization began with two mothers who met in 1977 to discuss their similar challenges raising children with mental illness.
They decided to bring together people with similar concerns and in 1979 NAMI was formed to further reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. Currently, NAMI has over 1,000 affiliated groups made up of people with mental illnesses, friends and family, and professionals.
NAMI Greater Athens looks forward to working with faith communities, law enforcement, individuals and families to raise awareness and support those suffering from mental illness. With the help of those who attend the luncheon and those who sponsor it, these programs can be introduced to the community earlier.
Lunch sponsorship opportunities are available at tiers up to $10,000 for the presenting sponsor, which includes four reserved tables, signed books, a large banner and more.
Regular ticket price is $30 and for more information on NAMI Greater Athens’ vision sponsorship or tickets, please call 903-675-3380 or visit www.namitexas.org/nami-texas- of-greater-athens.