ROANOKE, Va. – This week is national mental illness awareness week and some local folks took time to remember those suffering both in silence and out loud.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness Roanoke Valley hosted a candlelight vigil inside due to rain in Roanoke's Grandin neighborhood on Tuesday night.
They want to honor those who struggle with mental illness, both living and deceased, and those who try to help.
The group hopes to shine more light on the topic by writing people's names on bags and lighting them up with battery powered candles.
"It is the opportunity to educate, to make the conversation normal," NAMI Roanoke Valley President Mary Parker Wilson said. "There is a stigma around mental health the way that we talk about it, or don't talk about it, we all know someone in some way shape or form that has been affected by it."
Roanoke County leaders issued a proclamation for mental illness awareness week. The Village Grill also donated some of its proceeds to the cause.