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Pfeiffer hosts Marriage & Family Therapy Networking Expo Oct. 7

Event raises awareness, provides resources, supports October's Mental Illness Awareness Week

An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans  — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, according to a report from the National Institute of Mental Health. Because mental illness is a leading disability, which impacts 57.7 million people annually at a cost of more than $100 billion, the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at Pfeiffer University will host the MFT Networking Expo in Charlotte on Thursday, Oct. 7 to increase awareness of mental health and provide access to resources.

The free, public community expo will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Pfeiffer's Charlotte campus, 4701 Park Rd. The event is held during Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), which is the first week of October and on National Depression Screening Day on Oct. 7. Free depression screenings will be offered and stress management workshops are scheduled throughout the day. 

Several of the university's community resource partners will be present to provide information, including United Family Services, the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, Integrative Pastoral Psychotherapy Training Program of Carolinas Medical Center (CMC), the Renfrew Center, the Pfeiffer Institute for Marriage and Family Therapy and others. Therapists from Eden Therapy & Massage will give free neck and shoulder massages. Food and beverages will be provided by area restaurants and bistros.

Event organizers say the expo has something for everyone, especially individuals who are in search of ways to increase their health and wellness. Area representatives from businesses that support healthy living will also be present to provide information and services.

“We are bringing our community together around the important issue of mental illness and depression,” explained Dr. Faith Drew, clinic director of the Pfeiffer Institute for Marriage and Family Therapy. “We encourage everyone to come and take advantage of our free screenings, workshops and a tour of our therapy clinic. Besides increasing awareness about mental illness and depression, we are highlighting our marriage and family therapy program, our clinic, and service businesses. We want our community to know that we care about mental illness and have resources to support them.”

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI's efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since that time, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October to celebrate. A year later, a Harvard Medical School professor, established National Depression Screening Day during MIAW to bring national awareness to the issue.

To provide a community resource, the university opened the Pfeiffer Institute, an invaluable community counseling clinic that provides support for individuals who need one-on-one confidential counseling or for couples, families and/or groups who may be seeking relationship tune-ups and marriage and family restoration. Help for a vast range of emotional, behavioral and personal challenges is available at a nominal fee of $25 per session, or on a sliding scale for the underserved.

Drew said the expo is also a good opportunity for people interested in a graduate program in the helping field to learn about Pfeiffer's MFT program. For more information about the Pfeiffer Institute or the MFT Networking Expo, call (704) 945-7324 or visit

Established in 1885, Pfeiffer University is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. A comprehensive United Methodist-related university, with multiple campuses, including Misenheimer, Charlotte and the Triangle, Pfeiffer is committed to educational excellence, service and scholarship.

Media contact: Natasha A. Suber, (704) 463-3040 or


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