This month, our Volunteer Spotlight is on Colin Connelly. Colin has been with NAMI CVA for nine years, and serves as a key facilitator in the NAMI Connection Support Group program. Colin has started/lead multiple Connection meetings over the years, and is currently a State Trainer who prepares volunteers to lead groups all across Virginia. He served two terms on the NAMI CVA Board of Directors.
Colin has a lifetime of lived experience. His mother had bi-polar disorder when he was young. He would receive that same diagnosis later in life after a manic period that ended in a psychotic break. He never hesitates to share the huge impact that his wonderful wife Stephanie had during those tough times.
Although he was hesitant to go at first, Colin says that NAMI Connection changed his life. “The reason I became a facilitator and eventually a State Trainer was because the program made me a believer. While I still serve in numerous capacities, Connection is my favorite.” Learning from other peers was the most helpful part of his recovery plan.
For four years, Colin has been working as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist for Henrico County. He currently leads the Connection group in the County’s East End office, which serves peers who live as far out as Charles City. Colin has a wide variety of hobbies, including sports, music, chess, fantasy football, and crossword puzzles. He and his wife enjoy the company of two lovely cats, Max and Radar.