FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NAMI Queens / Nassau
1983 Marcus Ave. Lake Success, NY 11042 516-326-0791 www.btslessonplans.org


Contact:
Amy Lax
516-759-1082


MISS NEW YORK STATE IS “BREAKING THE SILENCE”
FIGHTING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS


Long Island- January 2004…. Having suffered from depression since the age of nine, Jessica Lynch, Miss New York State, has been named spokesperson for the educational project, “Breaking the Silence; Teaching the Next Generation About Mental Illness (BTS)”. Jessica will travel around Long Island and New York State speaking about the stigma of mental illness. She will be speaking on January 14 at Smithtown Central High School Freshman Campus and January 16 at Manhasset Middle School.
“ At one time, my depression was so thick it was like a fog through which I could not see. With the loving support of my parents, medication and therapy, I woke up one cold February morning and everything was different. I got out of bed, returned phone calls and started to live my life again. Although it has been an uphill battle, I remain committed to my recovery and helping others see through the darkness,” explains Jessica. As Miss NY State, her platform is devoted to combating teen depression and suicide.
“Major depression is a serious medical illness affecting 9.9 million American adults, or approximately 5 percent of the adult population in a given year. Overall, approximately 20% of our youth will have one or more episodes of major depression by the time they become adults.

Jessica’s heartfelt story of the reality of living with depression, her fear of being rejected by her peers because of the stigma, and her recovery puts a human face on this biologically based disease. BTS could not have a more effective spokesperson, ” says Janet Susin, Co-President, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Queens/Nassau (NAMI Q/N) and Co-Author, BTS.
BTS are user-friendly teaching packets for upper elementary, middle and high school classrooms that meet national health education standards. Each module is available with board game or poster for $12.50 or $35.00 for all three. NAMI is a grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families and friends of people with mental illness. For further information on BTS, Jessica Lynch and NAMI contact NAMI Q/N at 516-326-0797, email btslessonplans@aol.com or visit www.btslessonplans.org