Locally, very soon after Harry announced his retirement, his mother, Kristina Miller was overwhelmed by the parents of children and young adults in the community who were suffering in silence, alone. No more! From that realization,  “Don’t Make It Weird”, a nonprofit organization was born and is working to continue the conversation about Mental Health, breaking stigmas. Recognizing the need, Kristina recieved training by the state of Georgia to become a “Certified Peer Specialist – Parent”, with the idea that walking besides others with the same “Shared Lived Experience” offers a unique opportunity to help when most others don’t truly understand your journey.

DMIW.org offers:

  • Monthly support group for family members of those living with Mental Illness, 2nd Wednesday of each month, locations TBD.
  • Free Bi-monthly Classes such as: QPR – Suicide Prevention Training, IEP/504 Education and Support, Teen Mental Health Support.
  • High School Sports Sponsorships with Banners on Fields
  • Billboards for Awareness
  • Private Peer Support
  • Resources
  • Shared Lived Experience
  • Community Service Projects

Currently, DMIW has been meeting at different locations thanks to the kindness of strangers who also believe in our mission and who donated their conference space for 3 hours each month. While DMIW is still very new, the need is great and what we would love to see happen is to establish a home base in Buford to serve and support our community. A place where not only the meetings and classes could take place, but also a place to come for a cup of coffee or a bottle of water while talking with someone who understands exactly what you’re going through, peer support. We are currently looking for a 500-1000 sqft office or warehouse space to be a regular presence and resource in the Buford Community.

Most importantly, if you or someone you love needs immediate help, dial 988, Suicide Hotline.

Together we will break the stigma so everyone who needs help is no longer ashamed for being ill.

“Don’t Make It Weird”, talk about mental health.

If you live in the Gwinnett County / Buford, Georgia area DMIW has monthly meetings generally on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 5:30-7:30pm. This group is for anyone who has a loved one living with a Mental Health challenge (parents, grandparents, siblings or any adult in the family). Some meetings we meet for a meal and have discussions, other times we bring in speakers to help educate and inform our group.  You are not alone. If you’re in the area, reach out and join us. You are never pressured to share, nor will anyone else share your story. The ONLY requirements are having a loved one living with a Mental Health Challenge and strict confidentiality in the group. If you’re not in our area, I encourage you to find a group of peers by attending NAMI Family meetings or similar group in your area. Walking beside others with similar “Lived Experiences” makes this journey a little easier to bear. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - Amira Abdulhafid from GUIDE, Inc (Guideinc.org) teaching QPR Suicide Prevention Training.

QPR – Question, Persuade, & Refer – Suicide Prevention Class. This is a two-hour class for lay-people, first responders and professionals alike. In this training you will learn to spot the signs someone is considering suicide and how to respond. An instructor from Guideinc.org will come deliver this class in person to our group on January 10, 2024. We will try not to limit the class size of this important training. Please RSVP to [email protected] to save your seat. 

Lt. Mario DePaoli - Former Commander of SWAT - Crisis Negotiation Team discusses how they not only have to respond to Mental Health crises, but also how to deal with their own Mental Health. - November 8, 2023
Gwinnett County Northside Precinct - November 8, 2023
Ofc. Mo Abdehamid and Co-Responder Evi-Luise Pover, LPC of the Behavioral Health Unit. They travel the county to any Mental Health related call with the goal of getting help to those in need.
Grateful for Community partners who share their space for our meetings. This evening we met at Premier Nissan at the Mall of Georgia to discuss IEP's / 504's. - September 20, 2023
Robin DePaoli of Depaoli IEP Advocacy, educating parents on their child's rights when it comes to accomadations that can be made to make your child's educational experience more successful. Visit: DepaoliIEPAdcocacy.com for more information. - September 20, 2023
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