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Recognizing Mental Illness Awareness Week

by Marion M. Walsh, Esq.

In 1990, Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week.  The week runs through Sunday, October 10, which is World Mental Health Day. Mental Illness Awareness Week assumes more relevance today than ever, due to challenges raised by the pandemic and increased isolation and mental health concerns. Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. Of course, mental health conditions are important to discuss year-round, but highlighting them this week provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates to come together.  At Littman Krooks, we applaud the increased awareness, as we volunteer in the community and also provide support and offer legal work for those with mental health conditions and their families each day.

Memorial Garden for Victims of Suicide Planned in Westchester

Westchester County Executive George Latimer has announced the creation of a planning committee to develop recommendations for the creation of a memorial garden for those who have ended their lives by suicide in Westchester County. The permanent memorial will help build awareness of suicide prevention, and create a place for reflection for family members and loved ones.  The committee will hold its first meeting on October 19, and present final recommendations to the County Executive’s Office by January 2022.  The memorial garden is planned as a peaceful site for reflection for family members and loved ones and help address the stigma that is often attached to mental health needs and build awareness.

 NAMI Campaign

 This year, the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) has a new awareness campaign, “Together for Mental Health,” that will focus on the importance of advocating for better care for people with serious mental illness. Throughout the week, NAMI will be raising the voices of people with lived experience to share experiences and the need for improved crisis response and mental health care.

Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 3–9 and coincides with additional related events:

  • Tuesday Oct. 5: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
  • Thursday Oct. 7: National Depression Screening Day
  • Saturday Oct. 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope
  • Sunday Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day

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