An Evening of Hope and Healing is a community event providing information, community resources and practical, everyday tools to better understand and manage mental health issues, including trauma, stress and substance abuse. This event is coordinated by the Ames Police Department, Central Iowa Community Services, Central Iowa Psychological Services, Community and Family Resources, Eyerly Ball, Iowa State University, Lutheran Services of Iowa, NAMI and YSS. The evening will include exhibits and opportunity for discussion with numerous mental health and substance abuse providers from Story County.


An Evening of Hope and Healing will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 6-8 p.m. at the ISU Memorial Union Sun Room. This event is free to the public and includes door prizes, refreshments and free parking in the Memorial Union ramp.


Highlights of this event include a highly entertaining and heartfelt presentation by nationally renowned author, comedian and mental health advocate, Sara Benincasa, based on her personal experience about overcoming mental illness as a young adult and navigating the highs and lows of college life. Local provider exhibits will be available throughout the evening.


According to the National Institute for Mental Health and Centers for Disease Control, in 2014, there were over 43 million adults (18 percent) in the United States with a mental health disorder. Similarly, 13 percent of children ages 8 to 15 had a diagnosable mental disorder within the previous year. Yet, nearly half of the individuals with mental health issues do not receive counseling or other treatment. Likely reasons for this include stigma, lack of accurate information about mental health, lack of availability of resources and/or lack of knowledge about how to access local help. Mental health is such a critical issue and it deserves our time and attention.