May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this year the Jefferson County Mental Health Awareness Committee will be hosting the 14th Annual Mental Health Awareness Walk on Wednesday, May 23 in Watertown.
This year’s walk will commence at the Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington Street, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Walking begins at 9 a.m., immediately after a proclamation from the Jefferson County Board of Legislators and remarks from a guest speaker, Michael Pracht. Michael is a Mental Health Peer who will share his personal experience living with a mental health condition.
The group will walk from the State Office Building up State Street, turning at the Thompson Park circle to walk up to the Thompson Park Pavilion. Lunch will be prepared by Chef Chris Manning from the Children’s Home of Jefferson County. Each year, Chef Manning provides a wonderful lunch that is enjoyed by all!
There will be live entertainment provided by a local artist for walkers to enjoy. Walk participants are encouraged to wear green, which represents Mental Health Awareness. There will be prizes for individuals who wear the most green!
This is a FREE event, so come out and show your support for Mental Health Awareness! If you would like more information, call 315-785-8073.
Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that one in six U.S. adults (44.7 million in 2016) lives with a mental health illness. Of those 44.7 million, only 19.2 million received mental health treatment in the last year.
It is evident that mental health illness has in some way touched many in our nation. The Mental Health Awareness Walk brings people together from all different backgrounds with the common goal of breaking the stigma. It is our hope that individuals with a mental health illness can seek support and treatment as easily as someone with a medical condition.
For more information on mental health in the United States, you can check out the SAMHSA website at https://www.samhsa.gov.
The Mental Health Awareness Committee is comprised of representatives from each of the following organizations: Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, Pivot, Children’s Home of Jefferson County, North Country Family Health Center, Disabled Persons Action Organization, Jefferson Rehabilitation Center, Volunteer Transportation Center, ACR Health, Mental Health Association of Jefferson County, CREDO, Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country, Anchor Recovery Center, Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, and Transitional Living Services of Northern New York.
Each organization is committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental health to ensure that individuals are seeking and getting treatment.