“Our main goal is to…fight the stigma”

Mental health is a disease that many have been struggling with for years.

In order to educate others about mental health, BGSU National Association for the Mentally Ill and the Wood County chapter of NAMI planned several events throughout the week to recognize Mental Health Awareness Week.

“Our main goal is to educate others to fight the stigma,” said Megan Ginter, president of BGSU NAMI.

“People need to realize that they [the patients] cannot ‘snap out of it.’ It’s a real illness just like diabetes or cancer.”

Today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. there will be a silent auction at the Connection Center of Behavioral Connections.

Items were donated by local area merchants and all profits will go to benefit the Connection Center.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m., presenters will be in room 228 at the Union to speak about suicide.

The Wellness Connection will also be having a course on “Stress Survival,” and Dr. Charles Burke will be presenting “How to Choose a Therapist.”

The counseling center will be open as well to illustrate “How to Help a Struggling Friend.”

According to Ginter, the week’s events are being sponsored by the Wood County Alcohol and Drug Association and Mental Health Services Board, BGSU disability services, F.I.G.U.R.E., and Jean Carr, the founder of BGSU NAMI.

On Oct. 4, Paula Lambert and Monika Lewis, two speakers interested on raising awareness for mental health, will be at the BGSU Alumni Center in the first floor conference room at 7 p.m.

On Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a walk for mental health will be held at Bowling Green’s city park.

There is no fee regulation to join the walk and complementary food, drinks and T-shirts will be provided.

“It’s an event that the Wood County Children’s Resource Center and Family Services are hoping will be big,” said Carol Asmus, president of the Wood County chapter of NAMI.

All funding came from the Bowling Green Community Foundation and community members.

“Because we had so many tragedies in the past, there was awareness of all the agencies to help,” Asmus said.

“Take advantage of these. There is no wrong door for this.”