The #IAMWHOLE campaign first started with YMCAs in the United Kingston and the Newport County YMCA will be the first YMCA in the United States focusing on this global program that has expanded from Japan, Australia to YMCA’s in Africa. #IAMWHOLE is a campaign to encourage all people to challenge harmful language and the negative stigma surrounding mental health and encourage others to speak out and seek help. Mental health difficulties are costing young people their education, their employment prospects and without support, are costing them their lives. Mental health difficulties among children and young people are common and can be both persistent and damaging. The thee areas of focus of the campaign are to; educate about mental health, start conversations and have young people share their stories so others realize they are not alone.

The Newport County YMCA hopes the message will help our neighbors of Aquidneck Island. The Y’s Summer Camp started educating young people about the importance of #IAMWHOLE and mental health awareness during the Summer of 2018 and plan continue to educate our community in our after-school programs throughout the school year. “We stand together, united as a movement, against negative stereotypes and language surrounding mental health by challenging others and themselves about the words they use and learn more about the impact these stereotypes and insults can have. We look forward to sharing the #IAMWHOLE message,” Mike Miller, CEO, Newport County YMCA.

The Y and Newport Mental Health plan to launch their #IAMWHOLE Campaign at Gaudet Middle School Wednesday, October 10, 2018, National Mental Health Awareness Day, at 3PM. Speakers will explain what #IAMWHOLE means to the students while promoting positive mental health and the importance of reducing the negative stigma attached to mental health. The Y invites the media and local politicians to join us for this important conversation.

“Just like cancer, diabetes or any other physical disorder, we need to embrace mental health and people need to feel comfortable discussing their mental health concerns. Like other physical ailments, mental disorders are treatable. Recovery is possible. In fact, recovery is probable, once people receive the appropriate treatment,” Jamie Lehane, CEO and President, Newport Mental Health.

On Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 10 AM to 12 PM, the Newport County YMCA along with Newport Mental Health, will invite mental health wellness vendors to the Y’s “I Am Whole Fall Family Festival and Wellness Fair”. The event will be held at the Y located at 792 Valley Road, Middletown RI 02842. This FREE annual event open to the community, has always been about family fun. This year, there will be a focus on mental health wellness and bringing awareness of the many groups and organizations in Newport County that can offer support. Along with the mental health wellness vendors at this rain or shine event, there will be plenty of FREE family fun open to the entire community! The Y will have Arts & Crafts, a Bounce House, Games, Rock Climbing, Activities and so much more!

For Questions about the Family Festival, contact or 401-847-9200 x 118. If you are a mental health wellness vendor interested in attending, contact or 401-846-1213 x 109.