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Raising awareness about mental health

By WKTV News

One in every four people struggles with mental health disorders and substance abuse, and health officials hope that and open house and informational expo this week will help raise awareness to those staggering numbers.

The Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc's Prevention Council held the open house and informational expo Wednesday morning at their main office in Utica as part of National Prevention Week. It's all in an effort to promote understanding of mental health issues and the resources available to improve the community's health and well-being.

In the United States, 26.2% of individuals over the age of 18 suffer from some form of mental illness in any given year. 1 in 8 children living in the United States suffers from an emotional or behavioral disorder.

In Oneida County, compared to the national average, our youth are at a higher risk of depression and serious contemplation of suicide, than ever before.

Officials say that as a community, the best chance of understanding and preventing mental health issues such as depression and substance abuse and breaking the stigma that is associated with them is to openly discuss the issues and diminish the negative impact that mental disorders have on children, families and the community.

"Our goal is to let them know there is a place to get help, as well as provide counseling and where we're unique is in sustaining recovery," said Cassandra Sheets of the Center for Life and Recovery.

For more information on the center and what they do, you can visit their website, www.cflrinc.org.

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