People with mental health disabilities face additional concerns and obstacles to overcome in life.

People with mental health disabilities face additional concerns and obstacles to overcome in life. To help raise awareness of Mental Health issues, October has been set aside as Mental Health Awareness Month.

The month focuses on how mental health affects people and the services available.
Locally, Journey to Recovery, a support group for those with mental illness, will be celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month by seeing one of their goals come to fruition.

They will be opening a drop-in center for the consumers of mental health services.
They wanted to offer a place for the mentally ill to come in to socialize and not be stigmatized.

They would like for it to be open in the evening so it can supplement the services offered by South Central Mental Health.

They will host an open house later in October, but the doors to the center will open at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 in the Smith Building

Journey to Recovery, a consumer run organization, was organized in 2009 and it meets weekly at 10 a.m. on Fridays.

“It is to encourage and support people in Butler County,” said Carolyn Jorn, who is with the group.

“We help one another in our journey to recover,” added Sandy DeWitt.

They also offer support groups for men and women and a 12-step recovery group because many times the mentally ill will treat their symptoms with drugs and alcohol.
Another group, NAMI, is for families of mentally ill and those who are mentally ill.
This group meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of the month and they host a NAMI walk in May.

Another group is Family to Family, a national group that works to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, several activities have been planned around the area.

On Oct. 2 there will be a Poker Run beginning in Canton at 9 a.m. at the American Legion Post. People on motorcycles and in cars can participate in the run, which will take them to five locations and end with a chili feed back in Canton.

Then on Oct. 3 at Newman University in Wichita there will be a candlelight service in the Jabara Theater. A reception will be held at 6 p.m., along with an art show featuring art created by those with a mental illness. The candlelight service will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information on the local support groups, contact DeWitt at 321-1858 or Jorn at 323-9976.