National Mental Illness Awareness Week - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

National Mental Illness Awareness Week

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It's National MentalIllness Awareness Week, a time established by Congress in 1990 to help raise awareness about Mental Illness, help end the stigma associated with the disease and encourage diagnosis and treatment. 

NAMI, the NationalAlliance for Mental Illness is the organization behind Mental Illness AwarenessWeek. Here in Sioux Falls,NAMI began the week with a candle light vigil on Sunday night in honor of all of those dealing with a mental illness and their loved ones. 

The week activities continue Tuesday with the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding. Thursday, October 109th, is Depression ScreeningDay where colleges, workplaces, communities and military personnel all over the country will be hosting free and anonymous depression screenings.  

Anyone can take a free and anonymous depression screening online at

If you or a loved one are dealing with a Mental Illness, NAMI has several programs across South Dakota to help get you through the treatment process. 

There are several "Connections"programs across South Dakota that allow anyone to anonymously participate in a 12-step support program. 

NAMI also has a program called "In Our Own Voice" where people living with a mental illness can speak to different groups to help de-stigmatize mental illness and encourage others to seek treatment. 

Finally, NAMI has a program called "Family to Family" that helps family members learn more about their loved ones illness and how to help. 

"Which is for family members of people with mental illness to teach them the medical and biological nature of a person with a mental illness and that has saved marriages, that has saved Father-son, mother-daughter relationships," said John Baxter, a NAMIConnections Trainer. 

NAMI South Dakota is always looking for more Volunteers. If you'd like to get involved in anyway in Sioux Falls, contact Phyllis at 605-610-7226.

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