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NYSID News Blog

May 3, 2016

“Life with a Mental Illness” Promotes Dialogue, Spreads Awareness

Category: General — NYSID @ 1:28 pm

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 2016, and this year’s theme, “Life with a Mental Illness,” calls upon individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and videos, using the hashtag #mentalillnessfeelslike

Gerry "Ace" Acer has overcome mental illness to become a dedicated, trustworthy custodian with Jawonio

Several of our 2015 William B. Joslin Award recipients have overcome mental health issues to become successful, satisfied workers on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.

Gerry “Ace” Acer from Jawonio is one of these success stories.

He has learned how to live with his mental illness and has been successfully employed by the Jawonio Cleaning Company for 16 years. Gerry likes being part of an encouraging, supportive team environment.

Maintaining his job performance has not always been easy. “Because of my illness, things that may seem little to other people can make me become very anxious,” Gerry said. “Navigating all the challenges relating to a job can be hard for most people, but for people with disabilities like mine, it can be overwhelming. The job coaching helps me tremendously, and the job has helped me with all aspects of my life.”

Posting with the hashtag #mentalillnessfeelslike allows people to speak up about their own experiences, to share their point of view with individuals who may be struggling to explain what they are going through –– and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness.

Sharing is the key to breaking down the discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illnesses, and to show others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.

For over 65 years, Mental Health America (MHA) and its affiliates across the country have led the observance of May is Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings.

NYSID celebrates the efforts of MHA and our member agencies and private sector business partners to help create more inclusive communities for individuals with mental health issues.


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