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The Mike Fitzpatick Interview (Page 2 of 2)

Caregiver Thought Leader Interview
Mike Fitzpatick, Executive Director
National Alliance on Mental Illness

Gary Barg: What is the first thing we should do once we learn that a loved one is living with mental illness?

Mike Fitzpatrick: Early intervention is so important. Too often people tell us that it took years before they really understood what was happening or where to go for the most effective services. Most people, unless you have experienced mental illness in your family in the past, will go to their general practitioner. Or, even to their faith community to try to get a better understanding of what is going on. That is why we spend a lot of time working within the faith communities to try to have them understand what mental illness is and what their role is. People tend not to get their information from brochures anymore. But they tend to reach out into the Internet to get information.

NAMI

Gary Barg: What would be the one most important piece of information you would like to leave with family caregivers?

Mike Fitzpatrick: Reach out to other people. You are not alone. There is support and people who have lived through your experience who would be tremendously helpful to you. That people can recover from mental illness. It does not mean people are cured. But people can recover and regain at least a significant portion of their life back. There is hope.

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