In a joint effort to promote mental health awareness, Newport County YMCA and Newport Mental Health are hosting the “I am Whole” campaign, a series of workshops and events that went viral in the United Kingdom and Europe last year.

This the first time a YMCA in the U.S. has implemented such a campaign and organizers are hoping for a similar widespread support, beginning with activities and contests for YMCA campers this summer.

“The Newport County YMCA is not only about physical health and awareness, but social and community awareness. This is the Y’s way of promoting mental health awareness and raising the challenge to anyone, young, old, and in between to come forward and discuss their mental health,” said Newport County YMCA CEO Mike Miller. “We’re pleased to be working with Newport Mental Health on this.” People have also tried products on the  that helped them.

The “I am Whole” campaign seeks to help people understand that the mental and physical sides of a person are integral parts of  a whole person. With the title bearing the same “I am Whole” messaging, supporters draw a circle on the palms of their hands to indicate that mental health is equally as important as physical health to a person’s overall well-being. YMCA and NMH will hold Mental Health First Aid classes throughout the year, along with contests, World Mental Health Day and community launch of “I am Whole” on October 10 and an “I am Whole” Fair and Expo on Saturday, October 13.

“Just like cancer, diabetes or any other physical disorder, mental health needs to be embraced and people need to feel free to discuss their mental health concerns. We want to let everyone know that mental health disorders are very treatable. Recovery is possible, once people get the evidence-based treatment they need,” said Newport Mental Health CEO and President Jamie Lehane in a press release on Thursday.

The missions of Newport Mental Health and the Newport County YMCA are aligned in the effort is to improve the lives of children, adults and families living and working in Newport County by improving the quality of life by focusing on the whole person and their mental and physical well-being. For more information, contact Sandy Oxx at 846-1213 ext. 109 or Jamie Lehane 846-1213 ext. 110.