Mass held in Cedar Rapids for mental illness awareness

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The National Alliance on Mental Illness, also known as NAMI, in Linn County said it wants people who are struggling with mental health to know they’re not alone.

Deacon Tom Lambert of the Archdiocese of Chicago gives the homily during a Mass for Mental Illness Awareness at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids on Oct. 13, 2019. (MARY GREEN/KCRG)

A Mass for Mental Illness Awareness was held Sunday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, with Deacon Tom Lambert of the Archdiocese of Chicago participating.

In his homily, Lambert discussed how mental illness has affected his own family and has led him to become an advocate for mental health.

He said that people can always turn to their church community for support and help, a message echoed by NAMI-Linn County Executive Director Mona McCalley-Whitters.

“There are lots of good resources in our community, but I think the important thing is to begin to have that conversation with their friends or their family and to refer them to people and services that can help them,” McCalley-Whitters said.

This is the 12th year the Mass for Mental Illness Awareness has been held in Cedar Rapids.

On Wednesday, NAMI-Linn County is hosting another event discussing the importance of mental health.

Three panelists from Cedar Rapids will be sharing their personal stories about mental health challenges at the Cedar Rapids Public Library downtown branch, starting at 6 p.m.