GUILFORD – In the effort to draw focus to the struggles, hope and healing of mental illness, advocates in the field are organizing a free public event that will create networking opportunities for those who are on the road to recovery and wellness.
The event, titled “Hope and Healing: Perspectives on Mental Illness 2,” will be held from 1-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 at the United Presbyterian Church east of Guilford, at the corner of Chenango County Rout 35 and state Highway 8 (near Sidney). Given the success of the first Hope and Healing event held in January, organizers say they’re expecting a good turnout for the follow-up.
“There were over 100 people at our first event. We saw such an overwhelming success and need in the community for this type of information and events that we decided to do it again,” said Jessica Farrell, event organizer and member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The Hope and Healing event is an initiative of the Delaware and Otsego County chapters of NAMI.
While NAMI does not have a chapter in Chenango County, organizers are hoping to use the event in order to reach out to Chenango locals, explained Farrell.
“We hope to get it out in the Norwich area because NAMI, which is a grassroots organization, gets some support in the area, but we want to expand on that,” she added. “Mental illness services are very strained and it’s causing a lot of stress in households that are dealing with this issue ... There’s a lot of overlap in mental health care because this is a rural area and there really isn’t a separation of counties, per say, when it comes to services. If someone has an issue in Chenango County, they might end up in Cooperstown or Delaware.”