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CONNECT Summit County seeks to spark community discussion and reduce stigma around mental illness through special programming during May for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Image: CONNECT

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, tens of millions of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness, including depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders, and bipolar disorder. Despite the prevalence of mental illness, there is still immense stigma and misunderstanding of the issue and half the people affected go untreated. One organization in Park City, CONNECT Summit County, is trying to change the narrative. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, they've put together a fantastic series of community events touching on everything from teen suicide to postpartum wellness, embracing aging, and eating to improve health and performance.

With the massive amount of fun you can have here, it's easy for us to think of Park City as one of the best, happiest places in the world, but mental illness doesn't discriminate based on location and it also affects our community. In fact, research shows altitude and thin air are linked to depression and can have effects on your mood. Understanding and recognizing if you or someone in your life is dealing with mental health issues can be difficult if you're unsure of the signs or are frightened of being assigned an unwanted label. Community programming, however, can combat these problems and help us create a healthier, happier Park City. “The whole point of Mental Health Awareness Month is to diminish stigma by getting the community to talk openly about both mental health and mental illness,” said CONNECT's president, Ed Rutan.

Check out all events this month, including the Brainstorm Film Festival screenings and talks CONNECT has scheduled to celebrate for Mental Health Awareness Month. All the events are free and open to the public, but don't forget to register online at connectsummitcounty.org if there's something you're interested in attending.

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