Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino kicked off Mental Health Awareness Week by raising a bright green flag in front of Hempstead Town Hall today. Green is the official color for mental health and by partnering with the Mental Health Association of Nassau County, the Supervisor aims to bring awareness to the importance of mental health. He was joined by members of the Hempstead Town Board.
“While everyone knows the importance of staying physically fit and healthy, mental health is often only considered as an afterthought,” began Santino. “Hempstead Town is proud to help spread awareness of a common issue that is hardly ever talked about.”
Mental Health Awareness Week was officially established in 1990 and takes place every year during the first week in October. An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older are believed to be diagnosable with a mental illness such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia in any given year. Organizations and mental health advocates across the U.S. sponsor events during the first week in October in an effort to put an end to the negative stigma surrounding mental illness.
“I applaud Supervisor Santino for bringing attention to an important issue,” said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.
The Mental Health Association of Nassau County sponsors 31 services and programs to benefit adults, children and the community-at-large. The organization has made strides in promoting mental health throughout Nassau County with programs including opening the first group home in the county, the first children’s residence for autistic children, the first supported education program for college students and the first permanent home apartment complex for adults with psychiatric disabilities.
“I’d like to thank the Mental Health Association of Nassau County for partnering with Hempstead Town to kick-off this important week of awareness,” concluded Santino.