The world is changing. It is a subtle shift in attitude, amendments to legislature, an uptick in empathy, a change in the way we view healthcare. As we the people begin to teach ourselves to value our mental health in a slow but steady progression, there are those that have tirelessly plugged away at the effort for decades. Right within our own community resides NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We are fortunate here in St. Tammany to have our own chapter of hard-working men and women who strive to not only spread awareness and education but to offer support to anyone who may be going through a difficult time. They have been a stronghold and refuge since 1984 for those fighting mental illness. But even for all of the progress we have made as a society, there is still much work to be done. The sheer amount of individuals living with mental illness, anxiety, depression, grief, and other related hardships, attests to the fact that this is no longer a common condition or even an epidemic, mental illness has become a norm, almost expected in the difficult times in which we live. So why is it that even with the statistics being as high and widespread as they are, that we still have difficulty talking about mental illness, asking for help, accepting ourselves and loved ones in the struggle? NAMI is here to change that. They are not only inviting us to the table, they want all of us to be a part of the conversation, to help understand and advocate for those who need us most. Mr. Nick Richard, executive director of NAMI St. Tammany, spoke with us about their efforts and how we can be a part of the cause.