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Join NAMI Sarasota County to Dispel Myths and Reduce Stigma During Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) on Oct. 6-12, 2019, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and participants across the country, including NAMI Sarasota County, are raising awareness of mental illness and dispelling myths. Congress officially established the first full week of October as MIAW in 1990, and since that time advocates have worked together to sponsor activities, large and small, to educate the public about mental illness.

We know that in any given year approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (46.6 million) experiences mental illness. Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. Mental illness is more common than heart disease and cancer and no less destructive if untreated. As with any other illness, mental health and related services and supports should be provided with the goal of helping individuals achieve recovery and resiliency in their lives. As a leading voice, NAMI Sarasota County is helping break down myths and increase understanding with this year’s MIAW campaign.

“We believe that mental health conditions are important to discuss year-round but highlighting them during MIAW provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice,” said Colleen Thayer, Executive Director of NAMI Sarasota County.”

On Wednesday, October 9, 2019, NAMI Sarasota County is partnering with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital to present Ending the Silence, A Night with the Experts. This free event, open to all including parents, students, children, educators, and staff is designed to educate participants about mental health conditions in children and adolescents by teaching about the warning signs, facts and statistics, prevalence, and how to identify signs and symptoms in others. The program will be held from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at Lakewood Ranch High School, 5500 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, Bradenton, Florida 34211. For more information on this event please contact Lauren Cooke at (727) 767-3973.

For information about mental illness conditions, support and education visit, email at or call 941-376-9361.

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