ALOHA, OR (KPTV) - Some people in in Washington County are 'breaking the silence' and stigma of mental illness.

Painting is an escape for Hannah Hargens and her many peers at "NAMI," the National Alliance Of Mental Illness in Washington county.

“I first started coming here, I was a little skeptical just because I wasn't really acceptive of my mental illness but once you start coming here and you realize there are other people who are struggling with the same issues it's really rewarding to be able to find this place of acceptance” Hargens said.

The place of acceptance is NAMI otherwise known as "home" for many people battling mental illnesses.

“People will tell you that this is their life this is the change that they had to make. It was comfortable it was safe and its nonjudgmental,” Office Manager Shelley Turner said.

NAMI offers free education, support, and many creative outlets and something almost everyone seems to enjoy is the art room.

“It’s not just doing the art it’s like you become a family,” Art Facilitator Linda Hunt said.

Staff at NAMI support their artists with the supplies they need and they're taking it one step further, they'll be selling the art that lines these walls in December empowering the people who need it most.

Leaders at NAMI said it's another step towards squashing the stigma that is mental illness.

“I think it brings back the fact that I'm just like everybody else. I'm no different just because I have a mental illness," Turner said.

In December, NAMI will host an open house and art auction at their location in Aloha.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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