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Lori Rivera, program coordinator at PEACE Zone in Evansville, Indiana was recognized by the Mental Health America of Indiana with the Heroes in the Fight Award last week.
Rivera, who began PEACE Zone when it was merely an idea without anything more than an empty office to work from, took it from that starting point to a thriving mental illness center in which people are welcomed and accepted into peer support groups and therapeutic workshops.
"There is a stigma about mental health issues," Rivera said. "A lot of people see it as a weakness. I know people who are terrified to tell their employers. But mental illness is a brain disorder, and the brain is part of the physical body."
Rivera is a proponent of the "cure philosophy" that mental illnesses are not always permanent and some can be cured. She cites her own depression and bipolar disorders, which are now gone, as proof.
The work that Rivera and others at PEACE Zone do is to educate the community about mental illnesses while providing a welcoming place for those who suffer from them to go. For that, she deserves all the awards they can give her.
Source: The Republic
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