NAMImobile Visits Athens On First Stop Of Statewide Tour

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A bus tour is currently in the process of visiting more than 100 communities in Ohio with the goal of ending discrimination towards those with mental illness and the first stop was made in Athens this week.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness bus (dubbed the NAMImobile) parked in front of The Athens Messenger Tuesday and its occupants were kind enough to speak to reporters about their cause.

Greg Polzer, president of NAMI Athens, said the bus, complete with large graphics depicting people with mental illnesses, is designed to “bring mental illness out into the public, an effort to break the stigma attached to it.”

“The vehicle is a smart idea and a picture is worth a thousand words,” Polzer said.

According to information provided by NAMI Ohio, the bus tour is also meant to help distribute facts about mental illness to the public. Throughout the summer, the NAMImobile is set to visit numerous 317 Boards throughout Ohio.

“Mental illness is no different than physical illness — treatment works and recovery is possible,” said Earl Cecil, director of the Athens, Hocking, Vinton 317 Board in a news release. “We are working diligently with our local community partners to integrate behavioral and primary care. Our goal is healthy minds, healthy bodies and bright futures.”

Cecil added that the Board is “fortunate to be part of a community that demonstrates support for our neighbors with mental illness time and time again.”

NAMI Athens is a private, family-based organization with two primary purposes: To advocate for and promote the recovery of people with mental illness and to provide information and support to their families, according to its website.

NAMI Ohio is the statewide alliance and comprises of thousands of family members, individuals, advocates and professionals working together to provide support for those with mental illness and their loved ones.