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This May, NAMI Chaffee County, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will participate in Mental Health Month to raise awareness of mental illness. More than 40 million people in the U.S. face the day-to-day reality of having a mental health condition. This year, NAMI is launching the WhyCare? a campaign that demonstrates the power of caring to make a life-changing impact on those millions of people.

Central to the campaign is encouraging others to learn the facts about mental illness and reach out to someone who may be struggling. Our goal is to bring mental health education to all corners of our communities and our work. Through our own words and actions, we can shift the social and systemic barriers that prevent people from building better lives.

Care is a simple four-letter word, but a powerful way to change lives for people affected by mental illness. With understanding and support, we help and empower those with mental illness. Together, we can create positive change. Navigating life with mental illness can be tough, and NAMI wants to make it easier to find resources and people who care.

“Whether healthcare is for physical or mental health conditions, ‘care is care’ and people with mental health conditions and addiction issues aren’t getting what they need to achieve and maintain good health,” said Eunice Collette, president of the local NAMI affiliate.

During Mental Health Month, our goal is to inspire people to build better lives for the millions with mental illness. Together we can realize our shared vision of a nation where everyone affected by mental illness can find the resources and support they need to live healthier, fulfilling lives. Throughout the month of May, the Salida Public Library will have a book display related to mental health and information about NAMI Chaffee County.

Key statistics include:
• One in five adults in the United States lives with a mental health condition.
• One in 25 (10 million) adults in the United States lives with a serious mental illness.
• 43.8 million people in the United States face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness.
• Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.

For additional information about Mental Health Month and to access WhyCare? resources, visit www.nami.org/WhyCare.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

For information about NAMI Chaffee County programs or to volunteer, email info@namichaffee.org or call 970-823-4751.