FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


Contact:
Amy Lax
NAMI Queens/Nassau
516-759-1082

Alyssa Nightingale
J&B Friendly’s LI
631-367-8599


MENTAL HEALTH IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS

LI Friendly’s Restaurants Support “Breaking the Silence” about Mental Illness; Educational Resources Provided to Local Libraries and PTA’s

Long Island, NY, October, 2005… J&B Restaurant Partners of Long Island, LLC, (J&B), franchisee of all LI Friendly’s restaurants and operator of the state concessions at Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Parks is educating the public about mental illness and the need for mental illness education. In partnership with the NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) Queens/Nassau educational project, “Breaking the Silence; Teaching the Next Generation about Mental Illness” (BTS) free presentations are being offered this school year to LI libraries and Parent Teacher Associations (PTA). An added treat are Friendly’s coupons for all participants.

“The Friendly’s support of BTS is now entering its third year. I admit that like many, I was not aware that mental illness is second only to heart disease as the leading cause of disability in this country and worldwide. Once I was educated about the prevalence of and stigma associated with mental illness I knew every child had to be educated about brain disorders, how to seek treatment, and to have compassion for others suffering. I know of no better way than the easy to use BTS materials that include innovative stories, games, puzzles and posters for grades 4-12,” explains Joe Vitrano, CEO, J&B Restaurant Partners, LLC.

“We are grateful for the support of J&B and the difference they are making in LI communities. Recent studies are beginning to show what many teachers and parents have known all along, that social emotional learning programs improve academic performance. If we expect our children to be successful, contributing members of society, we must educate the whole child. BTS stresses compassion and takes away the fear and mystery surrounding illnesses affecting one in five in a creative, upbeat, cross-curricular manner,” contends Janet Susin BTS Project Director, Co-Author and NAMI Queens/Nassau Co-President.

Presentations are being scheduled across LI in libraries and school PTA’s. Lorraine Kaplan, BTS Co-Author & Director of Educational Outreach has trained a group of retired teachers and other volunteers to present the warning signs of mental illness, how to combat the stigma of mental illness, the need for BTS materials and the call for educating all students about brain diseases. Any interested community group can contact BTS at NAMI Queens/Nassau at 516-326-0797 or email Lorraine directly at lorraine1118@optonline.net.

BTS meets national health education standards and the NY State Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (S.A.V.E) legislation. Each packet, designed to put a human face on mental illness, is available with a board game or poster for $15.00 or $40.00 for all three. NAMI is a nationwide, grassroots, self help, support and advocacy organization of people with mental illness and their families and friends. For further information on BTS email btslessonplans@aol.com or visit www.btslessonplans.org.