The Restoration Society Inc, in partnership with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and several other communities groups held their 10th Annual Mental Health Awareness Fair and Flash Mob.

The Mental Health Awareness Fair and Flash Mob took place right in the middle of downtown Buffalo at the Central Library in Lafayette Square on Thursday, May 11, 2023.

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May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in America for more than 70 years. The month is there to support a national movement to raise awareness about mental health.

What Is A Mental Health Flash Mob

For the last 10 years, mental health advocates have gathered in downtown Buffalo raise the collective knowledge surrounding the need to improve the general mental health of the people in Buffalo.

Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media
Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media

This year we're focusing on youthful alternatives for wellness.
-Adam Selon, Coordinator of Peer Services with Restoration Society Inc.

The event was started due to a tragedy that occurred in 2012 after Jonathan Ramos, a student at the University at Buffalo who committed suicide after a long struggle with mental health issues. The death of Ramos moved people that they decided to begin having the awareness fair and flash mob to help bring more attention to the issue.

Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media
Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media

Over the last decade, organizers has seen this event grow year over year. People who attended the Mental Health Awareness Fair and Flash Mob were able to meet with mental health advocates, learn about different community resources that were available, enjoy free food and other refreshments, and enjoy some musical entertainment out in Lafayette Square.

This years fair and flash mob was supported by Restoration Society, The Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition, Buffalo Peacemakers, The Buffalo Urban League, GYC Ministries, Mental Health Advocates of WNY, WNY Independent Living, and countless other groups.

10th Annual Mental Health Awareness Fair and Flash Mob

A resource fair took place on the 1st floor of the Buffalo Central Library that featured tabling from youth and adult resources, local providers, and wellness opportunities., along with Music & Dancing, Participatory Games & Raffles, Activities, and Workshops to celebrate the strengths in the community and raising awareness about mental health and community needs.

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