Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019

Sunday, October 6th through Saturday, October 12th marks 2019's Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). If you're wondering why such a week is needed, know that one in five persons will experience mental illness. One in five! We all know someone who has been diagnosed with mental illness. In addition, stigma regarding mental illness abounds. Those are pretty good reasons to dedicate a week to mental health awareness! Stepping Stones is proud to take an active roll in the week's activities.

Recognized across the country, MIAW is designed to bust stigma, provide educationincrease awareness; and, provide support. Many local agencies are taking part in Mental Illness Awareness Week, with some of the activities listed below. We hope you will join us in recognition of this very important week!

If you'd like to learn more about MIAW, and 

Rock River Branch Library, 3128 11th Street, Rockford, IL 61109
6:30-7:30 PM
Admission: Free

Join us and listen in- Chad Brooks and Tracy Meinert are excited to share their stories with you! This presentation change attitudes, assumptions and ideas about people with mental health conditions by providing a personal perspective of mental health conditions, as leaders with lived experience talk openly about what it's like to have a mental health condition. 

Rockford City Hall, 425 E State Street, Rockford, IL
6:00-8:00 PM
Admission: Free

We all know that traditional therapies aren't the only way to heal. You can pair medication and counseling with many alternative forms of healing. Self-care is all about what works for you! Join us to experience what some of our friends, and fellow community members, have to offer.

Miranda Grisales-Buell has been a student of yoga for 22 years. In June 2018 Miranda opened her own business, The Calm Company Wellness and Yoga on the West side of Rockford. The Calm Company exists to close the wellness gap by being accessible, healing centered, and community inspired. Miranda will lead us in the powerful practice of breath work coupled with creating affirmations to empower ourselves daily. This will be a trauma sensitive practice.

Erica Charron is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for 3 years. She has a long family history of mental illness and lost her brother to suicide when he was 18. After battling depression and anxiety for years, she decided to stop treating these issues with alcohol and face her past head-on. It was there that she started to heal. At the beginning of her sobriety journey, she started her own business, Erica's Board Creations. She teaches classes where people come to sand, stain, and paint boards. Art has been therapy to her and she finds painting to be extremely calming. She now owns her own shop in Rockton, IL. During this event, Erica will have boards already sanded & stained that guests can paint inspirational quotes on. We will use stencils so no artistic ability is required! 

Victor Rivera is a Rockford born Mexican American, struggling like anyone else to find out who he was as a teenager he stumbled on to the hip hop culture in 1999 since then he has used breakin' (breakdancing) and DJing to express himself honestly and as a means to take a time out from the "real world". Vic hopes to share what he knows to others, so they can also find inner rhythm and inner peace.

Pizza Ranch, 4797 Bluestem Road, Roscoe, IL 61073
4:00-8:00 PM
Admission: Dinner Charge

Come on up to watch your favorite NAMI Northern Illinois volunteers bus tables at Pizza Ranch. 10% of dinner sales and ALL the tips go directly back into our local affiliate. 

Jubilee Center, 413 N Court Street, Rockford, IL 61103
5:00-8:00 PM
Admission: $15 for Adults, $5 for Children

Join us during Mental Illness Awareness Week to support our friends at the Jubilee Center and Emmanuel Episcopal Church for a chili supper, music, silent auction, and kids activities. Proceeds from the event support programming at Jubilee, which is the only daytime drop-in center for adults living with chronic mental illness.

Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61101
12:00-1:00 PM
Admission: Free

Each year, NAMI Northern Illinois along with many other individuals and organizations, come together to share stories, ideas and community around the topics of mental illness and mental health. We will be gifting 5 inspirational people with the Making a Difference Award. You don't want to miss it! This event is free of charge, open to the public, and lunch will be provided! Come one, come all! RSVP today at

OCT 19: Retail Therapy
Forest Hills Lodge, 1601 W Lane Road, Loves Park, IL 61111
10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Admission: Free

Beginning in January of this year, the fundraising committee made the decision to host a handmade arts and crafts fair to help support the NAMI Northern Illinois. We have worked throughout the year, obtaining vendors to join us in selling their wares and crafts at our event and it has been fun. "RETAIL THERAPY is our name because we all know just how therapeutic it can be to do a little fun shopping. Think of those feel good moments for our mental health. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at the Forest Hills Lodge in Loves Park, Illinois. There will be concessions sold in the event hunger sneaks up during your shopping excursion."

Taking Part in Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Stars of Light: Busting Stigma via YouTube