Zumba dancers at the Poughkeepsie Galleria organize a flash mob all to benefit NAMI, or the National Alliance on Mental Illness. YNN's Michael Howard reports.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – From moving their feet, to screaming out loud, Jubie Bank’s Zumba class held a flash mob Saturday in the Poughkeepsie Galleria, all to raise awareness for the group NAMI, or National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“It literally saved my daughter's life” said dancer Tina Lee.
Lee’s 19-year-old daughter suffers from a personality disorder and says without the support of her class and NAMI, she wouldn’t know where to turn.
“When I was dealing with her mental illness, I literally didn’t know what to do and I saw an article about NAMI in the paper that offered a workshop and I attended it and it just opened the world,” said Lee.
NAMI is a national support group made up of volunteers that gives access to services, treatment, as well as information on research for mental illnesses. According to the President of the Mid-Hudson Chapter, Barrie Cambell, one in four people, at some point in their life, will have a mental illness, where 15 percent of them commit suicide.
“One of the biggest problems with mental illness is there’s a lot of stigma attached to it and a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge that they have it or know a loved one that has it and doesn’t do anything about it,” said Cambell. “One of our purposes in being here is to make sure people understand this is a very prevalent and common illness.”
And this group won't stop moving anytime soon. They’re also selling tickets for their first fundraising event in two weeks.
“It’s going to be two events, one at 10 a.m. and another at 3 p.m. We’re doing an hour and a half of just strictly dancing to raise more funds for NAMI,” said Banks.
Lee says the whole experience so far has changed her life.
“There’s time that I thought about if my child didn’t have a mental illness what my life would be like and I have to say she’s made me a better person,” Lee said.
The fundraiser is scheduled for September 28th at Tymor Park in LaGrange.