NAMI VT: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

NAMI VT: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

NAMI VT: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

In Vermont approximately 23,000 adults and 6,000 youth and teenagers face serious mental illness. One in 17 adults lives with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. In 2013, President Obama proclaimed May as National Mental Health Awareness Month and now each May the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI Vermont) joins the nation in bringing the issue of mental health to the forefront.Each year we fight to end stigma, provide support and educate the public on mental illness.

“Mental Health Awareness Month is a time for Vermonters to become informed about mental illness, which affects one in five Vermonters. NAMI Vermont’s advocacy goal is to ensure youth and adults living with mental illness receive the right care at the right time and in the right place to experience lives of resiliency, recovery and inclusion. Most people living with mental illness can lead fulfilling, productive lives, but only if they have access to treatment. We want to share the message that there is hope and recovery is possible,” said Laurie Emerson, executive director of NAMI Vermont.

NAMI Vermont offers free support groups and mental health education in communities all over the state.

The NAMI Family Support is a monthly meeting for family members, partners and friends of individuals living with a mental illness and meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at Equinox Village in Manchester. The NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group is a weekly peer-led support group for people living with a mental health condition, and meets every Tuesday from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the United Counseling Service CRT Center, 316 Dewey Street, Bennington. NAMI Vermont also offers a free Family-to-Family 12-week course for families, partners and friends of individuals living with mental illness, offered throughout the state in the spring and fall. NAMI Vermont’s newest program ‘In Our Own Voice’ is a public education presentation in which peers share their stories of illness and their road to recovery.

NAMI Vermont’s annual Pathways to Wellness Conference will take place at Lake Morey Resort on Tuesday, May 17. Registration is open and scholarships are available for this event featuring keynote addresses from medical journalist Robert Whitaker, whose books are key works of reflection on the nation’s mental health system of care. Barbara Mainguy, a creative arts therapist with a background in working with people with diagnoses that include severe mental illnesses and psychosis, will also speak.

Visit namivt.org or call 802-876-7949 for more information on the programs and the conference.

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