Your Truth Revealed podcast
Sept. 17, 2020

20) Know Your Crisis (part 2)

Meet Karen Ranus with NAMI in the 2nd part of her interview. The mental health journey can get lonely but know that there is support and you’re not alone.

Karen is the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in central Texas. Also known as NAMI, it’s a grassroots mental health advocacy group.


National Alliance on Mental Illness: ,helpline 800-950, 6264

Free Crisis Counseling 24/7: text "NAMI" to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK

Bluebonnet Trails Community Services:

Free Worksheet:

Calming Cream product:

Social - Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect book:


How did you originally get involved with NAMI and how has it changed your life?

* Karen’s daughter was suicidal and she researched how best to help her and stumbled across NAMI.

* Her hope is to become a community that no longer has any shame around mental health.

* Treat mental health as the public health issue that it is and lose a lot less people to suicide.

* Hopefully, there will be fewer people criminalized by their mental illness.

* And fewer people in emergency rooms who will get the help that they need far sooner than when they have ended up in crisis.


Mental health is about brain health and our daily habits and lifestyle. What are the key factors to increase brain health?

* Mental health is not about a character flaw—it is about health.

* Physical exercise - improves blood flow and memory; it stimulates chemical changes in the brain that enhance learning, mood and thinking.

* Food and nutrition - whole foods and water, little sugar or flour.

* Medical health - get your annual physical and follow your doctor’s recommendations.

* Sleep and relaxation - sleep improves your mood and your immune system. Practicing meditation helps manage stress.

* Mental fitness - may improve your brain’s functioning and promote new brain cell growth. Like your muscles, you must use your brain, or you lose it.

* Social interaction - spending time with others, engaging in stimulating conversation, and staying in touch and connected with family and friends are good for your brain health.


Shame prevents people from seeking help for their mental health condition. How does NAMI fight the stigma?

* Openly talk about mental health to shift the public stigma.

* Shame causes more isolation.

* When we are not well, it is a health issue.

* Educating yourself and others.

* Be conscious of language.

* Encourage equality between physical and mental illness.

* Show compassion for those with mental illness.

* Choose empowerment over shame.

* Be honest about treatment.

* Do not harbor self-stigma.


How is NAMI shifting our perceptions of mental health away from barbaric approach and misunderstanding?

* Our society has criminalized mental illness.

* Jails are not set up for mental illness, the system is flawed.

* There are so many barriers, state hospitals do not have enough beds. Tapping into private beds.

* It's like having stage 4 cancer and sitting there for a month with no medication.

* There are not enough psychiatrists and little research.

* Mental illness is a health issue and we have resources. We must look at the long-term effects.

* Be the voice of the people. The system must change.

* Shift is happening. It is like a big mammoth ship.

* Twenty-five years from now it will be so much better!

* The lack of mental health crisis services across the U.S. has resulted in law enforcement officers serving as first responders.