Local businesswoman to talk about bipolar disorder at NAMI meeting

Beverly Miller, a Wauseon businesswoman, will talk about her experience with bipolar disorder and her participation in a National Institute of Mental Health research study on the illness at the Tuesday, Feb. 6 NAMI Four County meeting.The meeting, which is open to the public, starts at 7 p.m. at the Four County ADAMhs Board office, T-761 State Route 66 south of Archbold.

Miller’s first experience with bipolar disorder occurred when she was 23, teaching high school math in Salem, Oregon. Since then, she explains that her life has been a roller-coaster of highs and lows, including hospitalizations, until a treatment that worked was found. Today, she helps run the family tire business that was founded by her father. And, for the last few years has participated in a National Institute of Mental Health research project that is focusing on Amish and Mennonite families to find the genes that are associated with bipolar disorder.

By identifying the genes that trigger bipolar disorder, the study hopes medications can be developed that better control the illness.

Miller will explain why she decided to participate in the study and what the study requires of her.

NAMI Four County is the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest organization of family members and friends who have a loved one with a mental illness as well as persons with a mental illness.

The purpose of NAMI is to improve public awareness and understanding of mental illness, to provide free family and community education programs, to offer peer led support groups for family members and persons with a mental illness, and to lead advocacy efforts that support mental health issues and that fight the stigma often associated with mental illness.

The next free family mental health education class, called Family to Family, begins Monday, February 5. Recognized as an evidence-based education program by the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the 2 ½ hour class starts at 6 p.m. at the Bryan Hospital, 433 W. High St., Bryan. For more information on the class or to register, call Barb Arnos, one of the class leaders, at 419/270-1502.

For more information about NAMI Four County and the free programs that it provides, please visit the group’s web site: www.namifourcounty.org.