Patrons gather for Mental Health Awareness Walk (Photos and Video from the event included)

Over 200 individuals gathered for the Mental Health Awareness Walk on Thursday at Courthouse Park on Church Street.

“This event is all about mental health and the awareness of it,” said Alex Mikowski, the executive director of Access to Independence (ATI).

Mikowski noted that one-in-four people “are likely to struggle” with mental health in their lifetime. This year, she added, one-in-five people are struggling with mental health.

“It’s a really common thing, and we’re trying to destigmatize that reaching out and asking for help is OK,” Mikowski said.

Basically, Mikowski said, “it’s OK not to be OK.”

“Evidence shows that if you have one positive person in your life or one person you can call on to get support from, your outcomes are so much better,” she added.

ATI, along with the Cortland Cortland Mental Health Department, Family & Children’s Counseling Services, and other agencies were present at the event to show their support for mental health awareness.

“We wanted to come together and show we’re united,” Mikowski said.

Below is a video of representatives from a variety of agencies in Cortland County, plus New York State Assemblywoman Anna Kelles (D-Ithaca) and county legislator Cathy Bischoff (D-LD-3), giving speeches prior to the walk.



Here's a video of the speeches that were given at the Mental Health Awareness Walk on Thursday:




Here's a video of the over 200 individuals who participated in the Mental Health Awareness Walk on Thursday:

(Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).