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Annual children's mental health event aims to strike out stigma

New Castle News - 5/15/2018

May 12--Strike out the stigma.

That was the theme of yesterday's fourth annual Lawrence County Children's Mental Health Awareness Day celebration in Cascade Park. Nationwide, May is observed as Mental Health Awareness Month. In the county, however, each May 11 has been designated in observation of children's mental health.

The event featured everything from a photo booth, games and face painting to a visit from some furry friends from Living Treasures Animal Park. The point of the annual event is to not only try and destigmatize mental illness but to bring awareness of the ways to seek help.

"I think we're losing some of it," mental health specialist Albert Antonelli said of the stigma. Antonelli works in the mental health/development services department for Lawrence County and is an organizer for the event.

"I think a lot of it is going to get worse the way society is today, but I think it's good to get the word out," Antonelli said. "We want people to be aware of what's out there, what providers are doing and different things like that too."

Twenty-five healthcare providers and organizations had stations set up to provide information.

The three-hour event had about 150 attendees at its halfway point, organizers estimated.

psirianni@ncnewsonline.com

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