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M.H.A.S.T. camp night encourages literacy and conversations on mental health

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Kid’s reading was the focus of the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier’s Camp Night, but most importantly, it’s helping to spark conversation about mental health among families.

Face painting, temporary tattoos, and campfire snacks were set up throughout the building.

While families were having fun, reading and literacy were emphasized by allowing kids to take free books home as well as sign up for their first library card with the Broome County Public Library.

M.H.A.S.T. hopes that by helping kids read, they will be given the skills to have open communication and expression of their own mental health.

“We’re trying to encourage the conversations,” says Joanne Weird, M.H.A.S.T. Development Director. “We want kids to talk about their own feelings. And all that will evolve. The more they read, the more educated they become, the more literate.”

Courtney Whalen, who has two daughters, says this event helped start a conversation about mental health.

“Conversations with my daughters about mental health and the strength of mental health and keeping those lines of communication are so open,” she says.

This was the first time M.H.A.S.T. hosted a camp night. They’re hoping to hold another one this fall.

David Caya

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