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Rogue Winterfest gives back to mental health agencies in Josephine County

Kairos, Dec. 2nd 2016, (KTVL/Megan Allison)

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Rogue Winterfest is an annual event for Josephine County to celebrate the holidays and support mental health. A hundred percent of the proceeds over the five day event benefits Options for Southern Oregon, Family Solutions, and Kairos.

"There's still a lot of problems. There are children that are struggling in school, adults struggling to find jobs, so it's an ongoing and constant need," said Bob Lieberman with Kairos.

Lieberman said mental health is an issue that needs to be addressed in Josephine County.

"It's a cross-cutting factor in a lot of the problems that we're worried about in our society. In substance abuse, addiction, homelessness and cross cutting into that are folks that are having challenges coping and relating and thinking clearly," he said.

All three organizations work in schools to address mental health early. Karla McCafferty with Options for Southern Oregon said creating awareness about mental health is just the start of what Winterfest aims to do.

"Therapists and skills trainers in the schools. It helps provide trauma support. Services in education to families in the community. It helps adults get jobs," McCafferty said.

Ellen Johnson is the development director at Options. She said it's rare for non-profits to combine forces like this, but the annual event was an opportunity to end stigma around mental health.

"We're all fighting for the common good, to me. We want to create a healthy community and by joining together, our organizations can do more to benefit our community than just independently," Ellen Johnson said.

The non-profits say when state funding is cut, they rely on local support.

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