County observing Mental Illness Awareness Week

Educational materials will be available at multiple locations

Chester County Commissioners Ryan Costello (from left), Terence Farrell, and Kathi Cozzone will issue a proclamation Tuesday to spotlight National Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Chester County will recognize National Mental Illness Awareness Week, which begins today, with many local activities to promote insight and treatment options, the Chester County commissioners said recently.

“Because mental illnesses impact the lives of so many of our residents, the local mental health community has planned a variety of awareness events. We hope everyone will take advantage of these resources and learn more about mental health issues,” said Caroline Smith, the county’s mental health deputy administrator.

A national observance for more than 20 years, Mental Illness Awareness Week provides opportunities to learn about conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders, experienced by one in four Americans each year. Experts say two main barriers to treatment are a lack of understanding about mental health and knowing how to find services.

Local observances will include informational displays and fliers at selected Chester County libraries, senior centers, and the Government Services Center lobby. On Tuesday, the Chester County Commissioners will present a proclamation recognizing Mental Illness Awareness Week.

On Wednesday, educational displays will be featured at the West Chester University Quad, and a panel discussion will be held at the university’s Philips Memorial Autograph Library from 7 to 9 p.m. Also on Wednesday, the Annual Recovery Stars Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to  2 p.m. at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Exton will recognize those in mental health recovery.

On Thursday, an educational session for mental health professionals entitled “Effectively Engaging Latino Families” will be held from 12:30 to 1 p.m. at the Government Services Center cafeteria.

The Chester County mental health community will also provide outreach and educational materials to primary care physicians, schools, and other locations throughout the week. Contact the office of Mental Health at 610-344-6265 for additional information.


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  1. Evidence of mental illness is all around us and it affects us all. The number of mental health organizations is growing and they are all working hard to improve the lives of people. Unfortunately, a lot of their resources go to combatting ignorance, neglect and stereotypes, all of which prevent people from accessing the care they need to survive.

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