03/12/07 — Mental Health Association seeking members

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Mental Health Association seeking members

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on March 12, 2007 1:45 PM

The Mental Health Association in Wayne County is in the midst of its annual membership campaign to help raise funds and promote and advocate for mental health wellness and recovery.

Mental health affects everyone, says Amy Roux, executive director of the association.

"Many times we forget that our brain is a vital organ, just like our heart and lungs, and mental illness affects our brain like cancer affects our lungs," she said. "In the past, family members and society would institutionalize persons with mental illness and forget about them because they didn't understand that with treatment the person could get better."

The association's goal to reduce the stigma of mental illness is being achieved through education and outreach, Ms. Roux said. Newer medications, supportive treatment and understanding mental illness can improve the quality of life, she added.

Among the programs sponsored locally are Lunch and Learn seminars, informational workshops, advanced classroom management workshops for teachers, mental health screenings, Operation Santa Claus, providing Christmas gifts for the homeless and those without family support, Pierre the Pelican, a parenting newsletter, and support groups for citizens with mental illness.

Yearly memberships are available and are tax deductable. Rates are $20 for individual membership; $35 for family; and $50 for civic or church groups. Donations can also be mailed to the Mental Health Association of Wayne County, P.O. Box 1476, Goldsboro, NC 27533.

For more information, call 734-3530 or visit the local Website at www-mha-wc.org.