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Mental illness is focus of library event Thursday

Knoxville Journal-Express - 11/2/2017

KNOXVILLE - People can learn more about mental illness and get guidance about where to turn for help during a presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Knoxville Public Library.

"In Our Own Voice," is the theme of the presentation, which is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI will provide two speakers, Michael and Phoenix, along with videos to raise awareness of people living with mental illness.

"More than 58 million Americans are dealing with some sort of mental illness," said Jamie Hunt, who helped bring the presentation to Knoxville. "Most people either know someone who is mentally ill or are going through their own struggles. People shouldn't be ashamed. It's part of who they are."

Hunt, a 2014 Knoxville High graduate, said she was diagnosed with anxiety issues when she was about 10 years old.

"There's so much stigma, but it's part of who I am," she said. "I have to accept it, but I don't let it control me."

Hunt recently earned a degree in psychology from Central College and is studying at DMACC to become a registered nurse. She said she hopes to someday work as a mental health nurse. Raising awareness is a positive way to build on her experience, she said.

"When I was younger, I hoped to find something passionate about," Hunt said. "Then this just clicked with me. It's important to find out more and then share it in ways that can help people."


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