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Dick Males

Dick graduated from Rutgers with a BSEE and a commission from the USAF.  After graduation, Dick, his spouse Carolyn, and his son moved to Maryland courtesy of the government.   After serving four years at the National Security Agency and getting an MSEE from the University of Maryland, Dick and the family remained in Maryland.  He took a job at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc. where he worked in what we’d now call “information technology”. Dick retired as a senior vice president in 1996. 

Carolyn and Dick built their current house in Hilton Head and moved from Maryland in 2006.

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My Story

Dick has been active in NAMI since 2001 when he took Family-to-Family to help deal with his son’s mental illness.  He was secretary of the Howard County Maryland affiliate.  He was also a member of the Howard County Commission on Disability Issues.  This group was chartered by the county executive to advise him and the county council on issues relating to people with disabilities. 

 

After moving to Hilton Head, Dick became active with the Beaufort County (now Lowcountry) affiliate.  He was on the board from 2008 until 2019 and served as treasurer, vice president, and president.  He is stepping down from the NAMI South Carolina board where he served for 12 years. Dick is a Family-to-Family education program instructor, Family & Friends presenter, and Family Support Group facilitator.

Dick is an avid golfer and is a member of Bear Creek Golf Club in Hilton Head.  He and Carolyn enjoy traveling.   He remains involved with information technology and enjoys introducing it to organizations he is involved with.

My Why

 Our son started to develop “behavioral” issues in his early teens. He spent many of his teen years at schools specializing in his then-diagnosed dyslexia, ADHD, and more.  We even tried “tough love,” which proved useless. During his freshman year of college, he disappeared and lived on the streets; then one cold winter night, he was picked up for vagrancy and jailed. After finding him and getting him released from the detention center, a psychiatrist friend of ours took one look and told us our son had schizophrenia. Only took almost seven years to get a diagnosis!  This led to many hospitalizations, group homes, and struggles with his illness. He began attending AA meetings, finding it a comfortable place to be and to fit in. He became compliant with his medication regimen and became more or less stable.  

I found NAMI in Howard County, Maryland well into our “journey.”  I took the Family-to-Family class (where was this almost a decade before?)  and I became a Family-to-Family teacher, Family Support Group facilitator, affiliate board member, and officer. When we moved to Hilton Head in 2006, I joined NAMI Lowcountry (then NAMI Beaufort County) and stayed involved.  

I am involved with NAMI because I know how hard it is with a loved one with a mental illness. Because I know how finding that “you are not alone” is game-changing. Because I know that participating in the support groups and education programs that NAMI offers can make a difference in our well-being as caregivers and understanding of our loved one’s struggles. And, because I can help family members better cope with their situation and get “smarter”, so they can help their loved one’s journey to recovery.   

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