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NAMI to kick off Mental Illness Awareness Week

ALBANY, Ga. — Members of NAMI-Albany will help kick off Mental Illness Awareness Week Saturday by participating in annual NAMI Walk events in Waycross and Atlanta.

The National Alliance of Mental Illness will join other advocates in educational efforts during Mental Illness Awareness Week, which starts Sunday and continues through Oct. 8.

“Many people in our community are directly affected by mental illness,” NAMI-Albany President Jere Brands said. “The good news is that treatment does work and recovery is possible.”

According to NAMI officials, one in four adults experiences a mental health problem during any given year, and one in 17 lives with a serious, chronic illness. And statistics show that less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with diagnosed mental illness receive treatment.

“The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help when they need it,” Brands said. “That’s why Mental Illness Awareness Week is so important. We want people to understand mental illness and join a dialogue in our community.

“The more people know, the better they can help themselves or help their loved ones get the help and support they need.”

The results of nontreatment for mental health issues include lost jobs, broken families, homelessness, increase in welfare and much more expensive costs for hospital emergency rooms, nursing homes, schools, law enforcement, courts, jails and prisons.

NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families impacted by mental illness, is a national organization with local affiliates in more than 1,100 communities across the country.

Information about the organization and about mental illness is available online at www.nami.org. Contact NAMI-Albany by calling (229) 343-8791 or Google NAMI Albany Home.