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advocacy

Share your story. You have the potential to improve mental health services and legislature. See the opportunities to lend your support

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family

A support group for family members and friends of people with mental health conditions. We meet twice a month on Zoom.

See our calendar page for details!

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peers

A support group for people living with mental health conditions.

We meet twice a month on Zoom. See our calendar page for details!

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helpline

Contact COMPASS for dozens of mental health resources

 Call 617-704-6264 or email compass@namimass.org.

Connect. Share. Learn. Grow.

If you or someone you care about is struggling to cope with their mental health, we're ready to help individuals navigate and overcome challenging situations. Our mental health support group facilitators and members are kind, patient, and open-minded with the experience, knowledge, and tools to help you cope with what you’re going through.

 

We all walk our own paths through life, but we don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help, all you have to do is reach out.

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Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

 

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.

by Emily Perl Kingsley