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Supporting Mental Health in the Southern Tier

According to officials from the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, an estimated 25% of American families are affected by diagnosable mental illness, but only one in five people with an illness get the treatment needed.

Today the head of the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier highlighted it's "Compeer" program.

It is a youth mentoring program that trains volunteers and matches them with at risk youth.

Officials say that there are 7.5 million children in this country that face mental illness and battling the negative stigma it's associated with can make a huge difference.

"This stigma that surrounds mental health prevents people from getting the help that they need. Often they're afraid to tell people because of the judgement against them. So what we try to promote and institute is getting the services in places that people need to help them overcome that stigma," said Development Director of MHAST Joanne Weir.

MHAST will be hosting a Color Run at SUNY Broome on April 26th where more than 5,000 people will take part.

Money raised will go to support the programs available at MHAST.