ALLENTOWN, Pa. - For Allentown's Erica Oliver, mental illness hit at the most inconvenient time.

"I started crying a lot, being depressed, not knowing what was going on," she said.

The one time bank employee says she lost her job and her home.

"Was it hard to admit you needed mental health help?" WFMZ's Bo Koltnow asked.

"Initially, because of the high-powered position in my field," she said.

Breaking through that stigma is a key goal at the Harvest Full of Hope's annual Mental Health Awareness Conference.

Connie Hammann of the Advocacy Alliance is one of nearly 50 care providers in attendance.

"It's baby steps. Stunning how in 2019 still dealing with the stigma but definitely changing little by little because service providers looking at the individuals are receiving services differently," she said.

Sean Zimmerman organized the event.

"You can no longer go to the doctor and fix your problem. It's becoming more complicated than that, more nuanced," Zimmerman said.

New treatments that for therapist and counselor Conner Moriarty means resetting in the great outdoors.

His Bethlehem-based therapy, Reset Outdoors, uses nature as a way to nurture those affected by mental illness.

"The whole idea is people in a short period of time recognize what they can do themselves. The outdoors is the most accessible, the most cost effective way we know to impact things in a positive way," Moriarty said.

For Oliver, the best therapy may come from the inside and believing in yourself. She's now hoping to land a new job in customer service.

"Get the help you need and you can be productive in society and feel good about yourself," she said.

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