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Rally for Mental Health Awareness ‘Shine a Light’ Set for Oct. 6

September 23, 2009

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DELAWARE, OH – Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU), the Delaware Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board (DMMHRSB), area treatment providers, advocates and other community partners will gather Oct. 6 from 6-8 p.m. on the University Hall Plaza of the OWU campus to promote mental health awareness and recovery.

Oct. 6 is the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding, which occurs during National Mental Illness Awareness Week.

“We have had a number of events at Ohio Wesleyan to raise awareness about various issues,” said Richard Leavy, event coordinator, and chairman of the Psychology Department. “We need to bring mental health issues out of the shadows and join forces with area agencies to raise awareness for our young adults and the public-at-large.”

The central Ohio classic rock band “The Good Guys” will perform at 6 p.m., with the speaker presentations beginning at 7 p.m. In addition, various local agencies will provide materials about available services.

Representatives from Ohio Wesleyan’s Counseling Services and Psychology Departments and directors from various mental health treatment agencies will speak about campus and area resources for young adults. Jon Peterson (OWU Class of 1976) will provide an overview of state and national mental health legislative issues. Peterson, a former state representative, is the Delaware County Treasurer.

The event will conclude with a candle-lighting ceremony to show unity between the university and community regarding awareness of mental health.

“This is a fantastic event for the Delaware community. Aligning OWU and Delaware community resources to promote the awareness of mental health treatment services will help us reach more people and let them know help is available,” said DMMHRB Executive Director Steve Hedge. DMMHRSB is the architect and supporter of the safety net of prevention and treatment services for mental health and substance abuse.

Other agencies to be represented at the event include the Central Ohio Mental Health Center; HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties, Inc.; Annie’s Outreach Center; and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI).

University Hall Plaza is located adjacent to University Hall at 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Benes Rooms of OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.