by Carla Braund

Springtime. What does it mean to you? I searched for an article for the newsletter looking for just the right one, one with the right spirit, feeling. I wanted one full of optimism, freshness, newness, and hope. I wanted that sense of shedding off that heavy, worry laden winter overcoat with a feeling of lightness of being to face a bright new season of growth and opportunities. The right article did not surface, but the feelings did.

This springtime is different. NAMI Beaver County has a new home. A new shiny meeting place complete with a media room with tables and chairs, a kitchen, a library, and an office with desks and a computer. The meeting area/media room can be a place to view the latest offerings in mental health information, listen to a speaker, and share with other NAMI members. The library will house literature and a cozy area to catch internet info with WI-FI. Preparing a cup of coffee or organizing a pot luck meal, happens in the kitchen. Lastly, a new home for twelve boxes of NAMI Beaver County history, a place to plan NAMI events, a place to draft the newsletter, and answer incoming phone calls will take place in the office area.

In some ways this new opportunity coincides with feelings of optimism prevalent in springtime. Optimism allows us to open up to changes. This can be seeing a better life and new beginnings. The courage to overcome obstacles when fear would have us stay in our place comes forth. Cleaning out the cobwebs of old outmoded ways of being can be replaced by newer, fresh practices. Some overwhelming problems can be whittled down to more manageable struggles.

Come to a meeting, listen to a speaker, share your burdens, share your successes, see that others care, show that you care, or learn a new tool in dealing with mental illness. You might feel that spark of hope ease off that heavy overcoat of life’s troubles.