May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

To raise awareness, the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program and the Community Support Programs of Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties are sponsoring the 11th annual Mental Health Awareness Walk. This year's walk slogan is: "Recovery is a journey that starts with a single step."

The 1.3 mile walk will take place at 11 a.m., Friday, May 20, starting at the New Hope Recovery Work Center, 801 Main St., Stroudsburg. Participants should arrive at 10 a.m.

At 10:30, Sheila Theodorou, Carbon-Monroe-Pike MH/MR administrator, and state Rep. Mario Scavello will provide welcoming remarks. The walk will then begin, traveling east on Main Street, over the Inter Borough Bridge, and onto Washington Street, where it will continue into Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg.

Lunch will then be provided at the pavilion in Dansbury Park.

The purpose of the walk is to combat stigma that persists and negatively impacts persons with mental illness. These perceptions often lead to isolation and denial of the illness. The Mental Health Awareness Walk is an opportunity for individuals, families, advocates, and the community to come together to dispel the myth of mental illness, heighten awareness of attitudes and stereotypes/prejudices, and promote wellness and recovery.

If you would like to speak at the walk or if you would like additional information, contact Norma Swint at (570) 420-1900, ext. 3411.