Mental illness is a medical condition, but it is often surrounded by stigma or stereotypes that prevent people from getting the help they need. One in five adults experiences a mental illness in any given year. About half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Unfortunately, long delays—sometimes decades—often occur between the time symptoms first appear and when people get help. Early identification and treatment is important.

    Mental Illness Awareness Week is Sunday, Oct. 2, through Saturday, Oct. 8. This is a time to come together to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Please join me in taking the #StigmaFree Pledge to help with these efforts in the Wood River Valley by going to nami-wrv.com/stigmafree. Together we can shine light on mental illness and replace stigma with hope.

Tom Hanson

President of the board

NAMI-Wood River Valley

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