NAMI Northern Illinois kicks off mental illness awareness week

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- One in five people in the US lives with a mental illness. NAMI Northern Illinois is kicking off mental illness awareness week by hosting its faces of mental illness event.

The event kicked off with performances followed by personal stories told from those recovering from a mental illness. Free depression screenings were also available. NAMI is also hosting a rally this Friday at Veteran’s Memorial Hall to continue the conversation to break down the stigmas that surround mental illness and to let people know it’s okay to not be okay.

“A lot of people are afraid to ask for help because they are either self-stigmatized because they don't feel like they deserve help or because of how society looks at people who have a mental illness,” said executive director of NAMI Northern Illinois Danielle Angileri.