The vigil will be held on the Spruce Street side of the Lackawanna County Courthouse in observance of National Mental Illness Awareness Week.
This year's theme is "Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives".
The event will begin at 6:30 PM and end at sundown with the lighting of the candles. Organizers hope to educate the community of Northeast PA about mental illness, and to end stigma by celebrating the great strides that have been made in diagnosing and treating mental illness.
NAMI Scranton is also taking the the opportunity to honor individuals and organizations with the NAMI Scranton Candlelight Award.
The Candlelight Award is a distinguished honor that the NAMI Pennsylvania: Scranton Area Chapter awards to an individual or an organization in recognition of efforts made toward improving the lives of people with mental illness in Northeast PA.
These efforts exemplify excellence in the community and serve as a role model to the people of Northeast PA as we all battle the stigma and discrimination that continues to surround mental illness.
This award highlights outstanding actions at both individual and team levels by recognizing and celebrating those who are making a difference in the lives of people living with mental illness.
This year's Candlelight Award winner is Stephen Arnone, Administrator of Lackawanna-Susquehanna Behavioral Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention Program. The NAMI Scranton Board of Directors believes that throughout Mr. Arnone's thirty-six years at L-S he has consistently worked to develop a system of care that is both responsive to and respectful of persons with mental illness, leading by example, insuring that staff as well those community service programs that LS supports, respond to individuals with both empathy and respect, promoting progress and recovery.
For the first time, we will also present the Crisis Intervention Team Leadership Award, this award will recognize the CIT member who has provided extraordinary service in response to mental health crisis calls and/or provided exemplary leadership toward the development and expansion of CIT in Lackawanna County.
Officer Stacey Lemoncelli of the Dickson City Police Department has been chosen to receive this year's award. NAMI Scranton believes that her work as a Dickson City police officer demonstrates the kind of exceptional service and commitment that is needed to make a difference in the lives of people living with mental illness.