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Gulf Bend Center, NAMI donate books to Victoria Public Library

By Victoria Advocate
May 11, 2011 at 5:11 a.m.

Lane Johnson, Don Polzin, Dayna Williams-Capone, Randy Snider and Michael Snider gather with a copy of "Crazy" by author Pete Earley. Gulf Bend Center and NAMI donated five copies of the book to the Victoria Public Library on Wednesday afternoon.

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Untitled video from May 11, 2011

Five books is all it takes to help inform a community.

Gulf Bend Center and the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Victoria donated five copies of author Pete Earley's book, "Crazy," to the Victoria Public Library in hopes to better inform the community about mental health.

Earley was a part of the Victoria College Lyceum Lecture Series earlier late last year.

At the speaker series, he talked about his son's battle with mental illness and how it is criminalized.

"That was an educating experience for our community and this furthers the opportunity for that," said Don Polzin, the center's executive director.

May is also observed as mental health awareness month.

Polzin, Lane Johnson, a licensed professional counselor at Gulf Bend; and Randy Snider and Michael Snider with NAMI, presented the books to Dayna Williams-Capone, the head librarian.

Williams-Capone has not read the book, but was excited to have another book added to the library's collection.

She also plans to read the book.

"It's wonderful," she said about the donation. "I think it is going to bring a lot of recognition into the library about mental health issues."

The library does have a selection of books on mental health and Williams-Capone has noticed those books being checked out more, she said.

By people educating themselves on mental health issues, the stigma begins to break, said Snider.

"The average person is not aware of mental illness," Snider said. "It's been hidden so well since the 50s. The more we talk about it and bring it, the more we normalize it, as opposed to it being taboo."

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