Fifth Annual Long Island Festival & Walk For Mental Health Set For September 17th

Fifth Annual Long Island Festival & Walk For Mental Health Set For September 17th

LONG ISLAND, NY (PRWEB) August 9, 2006

The fifth annual “Long Island Festival & Walk for Mental Health” is scheduled for Sunday, September 17 at 1:00 p.m. The “Walk for Mental Health” is the only event of its kind that is intended solely to raise awareness of mental illness and the consequences of its stigma instead of raising funds. Participants represent many community members, mental health organizations, professional associations, parent groups, individuals and families. Long Island columnist Ed Lowe is Master of Ceremonies as Long Islanders walk to Stamp Out Stigma of Mental Illness.

Those wishing to participate in the “Walk” will gather at the Huntington Post Office on Gerard Street by 12:30. Master of Ceremonies will be the famous Long Island columnist Ed Lowe, who is currently writing for the Long Island Press. He will lead the “Walkers” as they proceed to Huntington’s Heckscher Park. At the park, there will be an exciting festival with an art show, music, food and plenty of exhibits to encourage the walk’s anti-stigma message. There is also an exciting “Kids Corner” that includes an abundance of fun, entertainment and prizes for all.

The festival and walk is coordinated each year by the “Long Island Festival & Walk for Mental Health,” a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that is committed to raising awareness about mental health issues. The organization began with a group of individuals came together to encourage an anti-stigma message within the Long Island community. “Although one in five people across our nation is affected by mental illness, far too often there is a stigma associated with it even today,” noted M.J. Pulling, a “Walk” committee member and Director of Development for the Pederson-Krag Center, one of the largest private, not-for-profit outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment centers on Long Island. “This stigma continues to be a significant obstacle for individuals and their families and discourages them from getting the help they need because of their fear of discrimination,” added Ms. Pulling. “September is traditionally associated with a new beginning, a new year of learning. We hope that by holding our “Walk” in September, many people will begin to learn about mental illness and the stigma that so often is attached to those who suffer from it,” she continued

“The Long Island Festival Walk for Mental Health is an opportunity for people in the community to have fun while learning more about mental-health issues,” said Ms. Pulling. She added, “The more people understand the reality of mental illness, the less likely people will attach a stigma to it.”

Those who would like to participate should gather on Gerard Street by 12:30 pm. The walk will begin at 1:00 p.m., going east on Main Street (25A) until it reaches Heckscher Park. For more information, contact in Suffolk County, 631-471-7242, ext 1350 and in Nassau County, 516-505-2003, ext. 225.


Alyssa Nightingale


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