Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bringing awareness to mental illness

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 1:47 PM

In 2008, the Indy ran a cover story about mental illness.
  • In 2008, the Indy ran a cover story about mental illness.

While all cities struggle to address the issues of mental illness, Colorado Springs seems to be particularly affected by its devastation.

Our huge military presence means we're home to lots of soldiers, many of whom return from war with PTSD and other mental health issues.

Our large homeless population is heavily peppered with people who need help — not just with filling their bellies and keeping a roof over their heads, but with maintaining their mental health.

And Colorado also has one of the highest suicide rates in the country.

So it seems appropriate that the Colorado Springs National Alliance on Mental Illness will soon be holding an event to raise awareness of the problem and hopefully take some first steps to solving it. If you're interested in taking part, join NAMI at its upcoming fundraiser at the Antlers Hilton on May 10. Click here to make reservations.

Rewriting the story of mental illness in our community

On May 10 hundreds will gather at the Antlers Hilton for an event to raise awareness and support for the Colorado Springs National Alliance on Mental Illness and its work to improve the lives of individuals and families struggling with mental illness.

“The fear and stigma associated with mental illness can be devastating,” said CS-NAMI Board Chairman, Kathleen Brandt. “The entire community has a stake in rewriting the story for the thousands who struggle with this illness. We must play a role in bringing mental illness out of the shadows and treating it like any other illness.”

The Department of Human Services estimates that one in four adults face mental illness every year. That means that more than 140,000 people in El Paso County face this challenge. Estrangement from families and broken connections often result in increased risk of homelessness, victimization, and even death.

The mission of the Colorado Springs National Alliance on Mental Illness is to improve the lives of individuals with mental illness and their families, friends, and caregivers through education and support and to advocate for better services and understanding of mental illness. In recognition of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, this event will focus on the lives of some of the extraordinary people who have lived with mental illness.

The event features Colorado’s Poet Laureate Professor David Mason accompanied by the Colorado Springs Conservatory. To learn more and RSVP go to www.namicoloradosprings.org or call 719-473-8477.

To recognize Mental Health Awareness Month, the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) has produced a bibliography of books and DVDs that focus on mental-health related topics that will be available at the breakfast and at all PPLD branch libraries in May.

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