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Local nonprofit raising awareness for mental health month

INDIANAPOLIS, (WISH)-   Local mental health advocates are working to amplify the voices of people with mental illness.

National Alliance on Mental Illness Indiana is leading efforts with a series of events this month to spread mental health awareness. The organization is offering Hoosiers free resources in hopes of building a stronger support system in our community.

Some of this month’s featured events include “NAMI In Our Own Voice,” a lived experience presentation. It features trained speakers who share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery. It’s free and open to everyone. It will be held on May 16 from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Pike Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library.

NAMI Indiana will also light Monument Circle green from May 10-16 to recognize mental health awareness month. The aim is to continue letting more Hoosiers know they are not alone.

Nami Indiana reported 38% of Hoosier adults experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression in February 2021, and of those, nearly 20% were unable to get needed counseling or therapy.

“We know that one in five adults in our country has a mental illness and one in six youth in our country have a mental illness. And then of those numbers, only half of those people get treatment. We want to bridge that gap so that more people acknowledge what it is and get access to treatment. So that they’re not living untreated,” said Caroline Chastain, NAMI Indiana.

The nonprofit offers nearly 30 support groups for people with mental illness, their loved ones, and public education classes to help people and families better navigate their mental health diagnoses.