Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 7 through 13. Each year, the first full week of October provides an opportunity to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.

One in five adults experiences mental illness problems every year, and 50 percent of chronic mental illness begins by age 14. Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination.

Highlighting the week, in observance of the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding, NAMI Rome and Second Avenue United Methodist Church, 801 E Second Avenue, will host a very special event Oct. 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. Wendy Farmer, CEO of Behavioral Health Link will speak about how stigma impacts mental health service and recovery. The community is invited to take part in the service and light refreshments afterwards.