In Their Own Words...

The money raised by Bo's Effort benefits LHAAMC Mental Health Services and NAMI, AAC.  Bo's Effort funds the salaries for the new Behavioral Health Navigator Program at LHAAMC, and the very important Family to Family classes at NAMI, AAC.  Hear from people in our community that Bo's Effort has helped. In their own words...

"Our local chapter of NAMI has supported our family in offering their Family to Family class for caregivers of those with mental illness – free of charge.  This 12 week course provided us information on mental health, the diseases, medications, the stigma, local resources, self-care for the caregivers – just for starters!  It also made us realize that mental illness is far more prevalent than many think – and is so poorly understood by most.  We gained an entirely new perspective on mental illness, how it impacts our daughter and our entire family – and we are so much more aware because of it.  Thank you NAMI, Anne Arundel County!" – Kim G.


"The family to family support group offered a “safe” place for my husband and me to discuss our son’s challenges with mental illness. It was a non-judgmental space for us to express our fears, anger, frustration and tears with others who understood exactly what we were experiencing. It also provided a wealth of resources from the leaders and other participants on tips, strategies, available services and overall unconditional support.   We would highly recommend the family to family support program to anyone who has a family member experiencing mental illness." – J+B


"The Family to Family class was very helpful.  You could spend a few years interviewing doctors and conducting your own research and even then, you would not obtain the information and education that this class provided me.  Education is powerful!  The class was therapeutic for me as I was able to express my concerns, questions, and feelings in a non-attribution environment.  I also learned more about my sister's ailment and real actions that I should and should not take to help her.  Most importantly was meeting the other family members who were going through a similar life-altering experience that my family and I were experiencing. Thank you for your continuing efforts - you have a positive impact on so many lives!" – Adam

"My husband and I attended the Family to Family class at a time when I felt at my wits end with the ongoing rollercoaster of managing the life of an adult child struggling with mental illness.  These classes allowed my husband and I to become a caregiving team for the first time. Prior to taking the class, my husband had very little understanding of the constant difficulties our daughter faced or my own ongoing battle to keep her afloat.  Sharing our story and hearing the stories of others put our journey into perspective.  We no longer feel alone.  We have people with whom we can confide the details of our days without feeling judged.  They also help us with realistic problem solving, compassion, and even laughter! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the hardworking people of NAMI AAC!" – Ruth

For many of our patients and their families, our support through the Behavioral Health Navigator Program takes away part of the stress of next steps.  We have heard words of gratitude from families for taking the time to listen to their needs, concerns and for helping them to find appropriate resources. As an AAMC caregiver, it is rewarding to know that the support we provide is making a difference in their lives.” – Alicia Penn, AAMC’s Behavioral Nurse Navigator.

"I can’t say enough about the Family to Family course.  My daughter has a mental health condition.  Taking the Family to Family course really helped me to understand the challenges she faces daily and to realize that she is very courageous.  The information about brain function, empathy, communication, the class activities, and the sharing of experiences and strategies were invaluable.  Learning about the brain and how it changes and works when someone has a mental health condition gave me knowledge that helped reduce my anxiety and provided me with optimism for change and recovery.  I no longer feel alone, embarrassed, or guilty about having a loved one whose brain functions differently.  They have compassionate and non-judgmental instructors.  The course changed the way I view mental health." – Judie D.

"After years of my loved one refusing to return to therapy, I knew I needed to educate myself, so I turned to a NAMI support group. I later signed up for the 12 week Family to Family course. I learned that I am on track as to my approach, as it relates to learning to live within my situation, how to communicate with my loved one and not forgetting my own self care. I also learned and experienced first hand that connecting with others 'like me' is crucial while continuing to live with or assist a loved one with a mental illness. The 12 week course fulfilled my expectations." – Rhonda

"Since participating in the NAMI AAC Family-to-Family program, I have gained many insights into the complexity of mental health. Listening to real family stories and the limited resources available in our community, confirms the hallmark of Bo's Effort."  – Todd Garvett, Bo's Effort Board

"What began as a tribute to great kid opened my eyes to an important cause and has touched my heart on why we must continue to grow." – Carlos Sera, Bo's Effort Board

"Throughout the year, our golf tournament is our largest fundraising event and it gives me great pleasure to see so many generous people focused on giving back to the community." – Todd Sodeman, Bo's Effort Board

"Since working for Bo's Effort, I am surprised by the number of friends and associates who have openly shared personal mental health stories of their own with me who would normally have remained silent" – Bridget Burns, Bo's Effort Board