NAMI MV receives donation

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Proceeds from Michael Blanchard's 2021 Inspirational Photography calendar were donated to NAMI. — Courtesy NAMI MV

NAMI MV recently received a $5,650 donation from Michael Blanchard Inspirational Photography, Doug Abdelnour of Noman’s, and Christina Izzo of Slip 77. Michael selected NAMI MV as the recipient of the proceeds from his 2021 Inspirational calendar. Ten stores on-Island sold the calendars, including Noman’s and Slip 77.

“NAMI is the Island’s best kept secret and I want people to know about it now because of the good work they are doing,” said Blanchard. “I became aware of NAMI through the Darkness into Vineyard Light Suicide Awareness and Prevention Walk. More people need to know about it.”

NAMI offers support groups, online courses, webinars, and special events throughout the year, as well as peer support at the high school. All of the services are free. NAMI educates the public on mental health issues, advocates for better mental health services, and supports those who have loved ones living with a mental health issue. “You need to hear from people who are experiencing the same or similar circumstances, like Al-anon or Learn to Cope. Peer support is the best,” said Blanchard.

“We can’t thank Michael enough,” said Lisa Belcastro, NAMI MV coordinator. “Michael has spent the last ten years breaking silence and doing his part to cure stigma. He’s outspoken about living with bipolar disorder and being in recovery. His calendar is a beautiful reflection not only of his artistic talents, but of his heart to help others.”

“There is no shame in taking insulin to treat diabetes,” said Blanchard. “I want people to understand that there is no shame in treating mental illness.”

There are less than 100 calendars left. A few stores on-Island still have some in stock. Try Bunch of Grapes or contact Blanchard to arrange pickup at his studio in Oak Bluffs.

For more information on NAMI MV, call 508-776-3746 or email namionthevineyard@namicapecod.org.