Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the first full week of October, NAMI and participants across the country are bringing awareness to mental illness. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Each year, the movement grows stronger.
We believe that these issues are important to address year round, but highlighting these issues during Mental Illness Awareness Week provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of the tens of millions of Americans affected by mental illness. (www.nami.org)
For the past two years, Northwest Passage has hosted an internal destigmatization campaign, dubbed “I am STRONGER than you think”. Our goal was to empower the youth that we work with to see themselves through a lens of strength and hope – too many times, these young people have been defined by their diagnosis – not by who they are as a person. They are strong and courageous, resilient and hopeful. They are changing our world for the better.
Earlier this year, Healthy Burnett approached NWP with the opportunity to expand this message into our community. Through a grant from Security Health, we are excited to announce the inaugural I am STRONGER than you think mental health rally week at a local high school. We received funding to purchase a six month contract for a large billboard, contract with world famous youth empowerment speaker, Jeff Yalden, and create marketing materials – all in effort to shift the way our community perceives mental health and mental illness.
The vicious cycle of stigma makes it nearly impossible for people to seek the treatment that could potentially improve their quality of life. By reducing stigma, we can help to break this cycle.