MENTAL ILLNESS AWARENESS WALK
Contact: John Hutto (803) 898-8581
COLUMBIA, S.C., September 30, 1999...Over 50,000 South Carolinians suffer from severe, long-term mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, manic-depression and severe depression. One out of four families in America is affected by mental illness. To spotlight their critical needs, the twelfth annual Mental Illness Awareness Walk will be held in Columbia Saturday, Oct. 16.
The Walk will begin after a 10:30 a.m. opening ceremony on the front steps of the Chapel of Hope on the S.C. State Hospital grounds. Dr. Charles Goldman, DMH Director of Public Psychiatry Training Program, and professor, Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science, USC School of Medicine, is the keynote speaker and honorary chair.
Following this ceremony, the two-mile walk will begin on Calhoun Street and return to the State Hospital campus. Educational activities, entertainment, picnics, and displays will be held until 1 p.m.
Last year the Mental Illness Awareness Walk attracted thousands of participants. Walkers came from schools, civic groups, congregations, industry, mental health programs, military bases, professional associations, and various other organizations. Group participants brought banners or signs identifying the name of their organization.
Citizens throughout the state can play a vital role in the overall effort to dispel stigma about mental illnesses and to develop a supportive community climate of compassion and programming by participating in the Walk.
For more information about the Walk, you may call the Department of Mental Health, Office of Communications, at 898-8581.
The South Carolina Department of Mental Health has served the mental health needs of South Carolina citizens since 1821. Its 6,000 employees and 7,000 volunteers offer services from 17 community mental health centers and six inpatient hospitals statewide.
Office of Communications