Lynchburg, VA - There's a lot of stigma attached to mental illness, but one group in the Lynchburg area is reaching out to people dealing with it.
MERGE and WRAP is a support group open to anyone with mental or emotional issues.
The program is based on WRAP - Wellness Recovery Action Plan - that will help people stay out of the hospital and deal with their illnesses.
Paula Brent is a certified WRAP facilitator and a peer specialist. She created the group because she knows firsthand what it's like to have a mental illness.
She says she wants those people dealing with these issues to know they are not alone, and mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.
"Just let them know there is a safe place they can come tell their story, get the help they need and just be cared about," said Brent.
The group offers open meetings for anyone in the community every Tuesday from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Virginia Baptist Hospital in Lynchburg.
They also have closed meetings for patients in the psychiatric ward Fridays at 7 p.m.
You can get more information on the group and its services on its Facebook page.