Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental health awareness

Each year Mental Illness Awareness Week occurs during the first full week of October. Every year there is a recurring theme that spreads across the country. This year, the theme revolves around building a movement through the Stigma Free initiative.

“Being Stigma Free means learning about and educating others on mental illness, focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis, and most importantly, taking action on mental health issues and taking the Stigma Free pledge.”

The hashtag for the theme is #IAmStigmaFree

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in America. Mental health stigma affects each and every one of us as well as the people we love. Stopping Mental Health Stigma is an imperative first step which provides those who silently struggle with mental illness, the opportunity to reach out for help.

Did you know that the risk of suicide was 7.5 times higher among persons with MS than the general population? In a study of individuals with MS who experienced thoughts of suicide, one-third had not received any psychological help. If you have concerns regarding mental illness, or thoughts of suicide, please reach out for help. Depression is a treatable condition and needs to be discussed with the doctor.

For more information regarding Depression and MS, please visit the MSAA website at https://mymsaa.org/about-ms/symptoms/depression/.

References:
National Alliance on Mental Illness: https://www.nami.org/miaw

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October 2015 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2015 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by MS.

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

October Artist of the Month:
Bean Fairbanks – Seattle, WA

 Bean Fairbanks - Blowin in the Wind

About the Artist:
“All of my life, I have been part geek and part artist. Since 1987, I have been living with multiple sclerosis. One of the consequences/opportunities of MS has been that I have had to reinvent myself over and over again to maximize my current talents and surmount obstacles. That has been true of my career as well as my art work. Over the years, I have crafted with charcoal, pen and ink, pastels, acrylic and oils as well as my first love: textile arts.

Now most of artwork is augmented digitally. My laptop is much more forgiving of my hand tremors than pen and ink! The computer allows me to bring my artistic vision to light. Art remains my inspiration, therapy, passion and a means to communicate. My artwork is as eclectic as my moods, whether reflecting frenzy, sensuousness or the bare essence of being.”
Read more

Be inspired – please send an online card featuring artwork by MS artist Bean Fairbanks and spread awareness of MS and MSAA.

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Highlights from MSAA’s Annual Golf Tournament

On Monday, September 28th, MSAA hosted the annual Gary Wallace Memorial Golf Tournament at Little Mill Country Club in Marlton, NJ. The golf tournament is held in memory of Gary Wallace, MSAA’s former Vice President of Finance & Administration, who devoted himself to improving the lives of people living with MS.

It was a full day of fun and friendly competition, all in the name of fulfilling MSAA’s mission of improving lives today for the entire MS community.

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We would like to thank all of our supporters, sponsors, volunteers, and everyone who came out to the event.

Thank you!!

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