(WWTI) — The community is invited once again to participate in the annual Mental Health Awareness Month on Wednesday, May 17 in downtown Watertown.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a proclamation and will feature a guest speaker and testimonials from mental health peers telling their stories.

The walk will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dulles State Office Building on Washington Street and end at Thompson Park. After the walk concludes, healthy snacks will be provided and participants will have the opportunity to perform yoga together.

Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Coordinator at North Country Family Health Center Robert Bowen explained the importance behind events like this one.

“Over the pandemic, everyone found out that mental health services are needed, and to maintain that mental wellness. It’s not always about being sick or mentally ill, it’s about maintaining that wellness. So that’s what this is all about,” Bowen stated. “The idea is to get the information out there of the resources that are available locally so you can attain assistance if you need it.”

The event is hosted by the Jefferson County Mental Health Awareness Committee and will feature several local organizations including The Mental Health Association of Jefferson County, Credo Community Clinic, Transition Living Services, Children’s Home of Jefferson County, Anchor Recovery Center of Northern New York, Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, Smaaritan Medical center, The Arc Jefferson-St. Lawrence and North Country Family Health Center.

Those interested in participating in the free community event can pre-register by calling NRCIL at 315-785-8703.