My local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness held its annual NAMI WALKS on Saturday, raising more than $53,000! That’s a record for our chapter.
I participated along with my son, Kevin, who is identified in my book by his middle name, Michael.
As a journalist, I scrupulously avoided joining any organizations because I wanted to remain impartial. But I became a lifetime member of NAMI as soon as I finished writing my book. I joined NAMI because I realized that families, such as mine, needed a strong advocacy voice and programs tailored to help us better understand mental illnesses. NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health advocacy group in our nation. It was founded in 1979 by a group of mothers who were frustrated by our nation’s badly broken mental health system. You can find a NAMI Walks near you by clicking here.
Participating in NAMI Walks is a great way to help fight stigma and educate people in your community about mental illnesses. NAMI held its first walk ten years ago. This year, NAMI Walks should raise more than $10 million. That money helps pay for such worthwhile programs as Family to Family classes, In Our Own Voice programs and NAMI’s Peer to Peer program.
NAMI gives a voice to persons seldom seen or heard — families coping with a loved one who has a mental disorder. Take part in NAMI Walks. Even better, join me by becoming a NAMI member.