Volunteers and staff of NAMI Delaware & Morrow Counties awaits as NAMIWalk week inches closer.
NAMIWalks is the largest fundraiser the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) puts on, but things will look a little different this year. NAMIWalks will be a virtual experience due to the impact of COVID-19.
NAMIWalks Your Way means what it sounds like: participants get to make NAMIWalks their own. Participants can walk a 5K through their neighborhood, around their backyard, or on their treadmill. They can kayak, bicycle or dance. Or they can do something else meaningful and fun to celebrate the virtual walk day.
“Mental health has always been important. However, it’s even more important now than ever as we live in the midst of a pandemic,” said Executive Director of NAMI Delaware & Morrow Counties Todd Walts. “The Census data shows that one in three people experience a by mental illness. But when you factor in their friends and family that are impacted, everyone is affected.”
NAMIWalks week is Oct. 3-10. Virtual events will be held all week to kick off the celebration such as cake decorating and young adult trivia.
NAMI walks to promote awareness around mental illness, to raise funds in order to keep programs free, to build community, and to remove the stigma and discrimination around mental health.
At a time when so many are feeling isolated and alone, educating the public about mental health is critical. COVID-19 has changed the world we live in, but it has also shed a light on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally.
“That’s why I think it’s so important to have NAMIWalks, to raise that awareness with people so they know that we are here, so that they know that we have classes and support groups, and so many tools that can help them,” Walts said. “All of these services that we offer are free and provided by people that have lived experience.”
To join NAMIWalks week as a participant, donor, or sponsor, go to NotAloneOhio.org for more information. NAMI Delaware & Morrow Counties is here to help during the journey of mental illness.