ELMIRA, NY – Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, as 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. However, everyone is affected or impacted by mental illness through friends and family. Throughout May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Catholic Charities, and other participants across the country are raising awareness for mental health.

Chemung County’s Annual Mental Health Awareness Dance was held on May 18 to provide a fun and social evening for people living with a mental health condition.

Part of the evening was participating in Stigma Free Me, an initiative of NAMI. During the evening, individuals used tablets to sign the pledge to be stigma free and fight stigma in our community. Worksheets were also provided for participants to share their own story and add them to NAMI’s website. Having peer support provides encouragement and support to others with similar experiences.

Approximately 150 individuals attended from Catholic Charities, Family Services, Capabilities and the Elmira Psychiatric Center. We are grateful for Wegmans providing food for the event.

Follow the link for more information on Catholic Charities’ Gateways Program. Follow this link for more information on Mental Health Month.