Rally organizers hope to raise awareness that mental illness is treatable
SALT LAKE CITY — A rally to raise awareness about mental illness and addiction recovery takes place in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday. And it’s not new, this will be the 15th year that Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah hold this event.
Community impact director Evan Done hopes that lawmakers will get a sense for the number of people impacted by mental illness in Utah.
“This rally for recovery really gives us a chance to highlight all of the people in our state that are in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders,” he said. “There’s thousands of us.”
Many of the planned activities will address the victories of people recovering from substance abuse disorders as well as what is still needed from lawmakers.
“We’ll have speakers, people in recovery, leaders in the community, and elected officials, all kind of addressing what’s going on with substance use and mental health legislation on the hill this year” Done said.
Done believes that mental illness, suicide, substance use disorders, and overdose are Utah’s greatest public health crises.
“We’re a constituency of consequence. They should be listening to people like us about issues that impact our lives.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), more than 500,000 adults in Utah have a mental health condition. NAMI also reports that of the nearly 200,000 Utah adults that did not receive medical help for a mental illness condition, almost half didn’t get that help because of the cost.
Finally, NAMI reports there are nearly three million people in Utah who live in communities that lack the appropriate number of mental health professionals.
The rally includes a “Walk to Remember” and begins at 4 p.m.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Utah Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
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