A candlelight vigil is planned for Friday, Oct. 4, to promote mental illness awareness. The vigil will be held rain or shine at 5:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall.
The event is being organized by NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness. It will include a guest speaker, poem recital, music and refreshments.
“There is a stigma that’s associated with mental illness,” said NAMI representative Linda Perry. “A lot of people don’t know how to deal with it. There is no manual. Even our law enforcement struggles because each case can be so different.”
Perry said mental health information indicates between 54 and 75 percent of all people incarcerated suffer from some form of mental illness.
“If they have a mental disorder, they often use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope,” said Perry. “And heavy use of drugs or alcohol can lead to a mental disorder.”
The candlelight vigil is being held as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
For more information, call 473-9100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.