NAMIWalks: Mental Health for All

NAMIWalks: Mental Health for All

– We need to be able to stand up and say, it’s okay to have a
mental health condition, it’s okay to be able to
reach out and ask for help. – NAMIWalks is the best. It’s a celebration of all of our members, all of their friends and
co-workers and relatives, all of the places of
worship we get together and we march together, and
we clap, and we bang drums, and we say, hey mental health
challenges are pretty normal. We can live in recovery, and
NAMI’s there to support you. – Talkin’ about, hello we
are here prayin’ for NAMI. (cheers) I’m goin’ this way. Money is raised, awareness is raised so people don’t have to feel
like they’re in sinking sand. But you can get the help, not be ashamed, and live a free life. – First and foremost,
NAMIWalks is about awareness. And I love that we have
thousands of people come out and support people who have
a mental health condition. So somebody who has a
mental health condition who may have in the past,
been afraid to talk about it, or had experienced stigma,
this is the one day that they can come out, and
there are thousands of people there for them, walking for
them, to raise awareness, to raise money, and to raise just hope that there can be a better future. – So this is just a powerful
event, a powerful experience, and a wonderful way to raise
money for a great cause. – Yes it’s about fundraising,
’cause we want to sustain our mission and our
programs and our classes, but it’s really about
bringing the whole community together around mental health. – At a NAMIWalk, you walk
around and you see families, entire families, you see
friends, you see people who are meeting for the first
time become best friends. At our last walk, we
had babies in strollers. Then we saw next year the toddlers coming, and that’s just amazing when
you see a family grow together. – NAMIWalks for me is the
community that comes together rallying around this important issue. – It’s one of the most celebrated days in our affiliate, because it allows people from all places in their
life, professionals, individuals that live in
group homes, politicians, and people who care to come together and walk for a cause. – Our walks are always
fun, so we have a cookout, we have a bouncy house,
we have face painting, and you know, big walking animals. – At our NAMIWalks this
year, we had everyone. We had our state department
of behavioral health, we had family members, we had their dogs. – We have a lot of pet teams this year. It started with our executive
director, her dog Max. He started a team a few years ago, and then somehow he started
raisin’ more money than she did so they really brought
out the cats and the dogs, and we had a lot of pets here today. Max was here today to walk with his team. So that was really fun. – Well last year was our very first walk, and it was truly amazing
to see so many people come together, volunteers,
donors, walkers, sponsors, show people that they’re
loved and that they belong, and that we can raise
money to help others. – We just had our first
NAMIWalk this past spring. And it was incredible
to see how many people came out to support mental health. It was a time where our
classes and our support groups and the members of our community, came out and we we’re all allies together. – NAMIWalks have so much meaning
in so many different ways. But I think the biggest
thing is that the message that you’re not alone. – The walks bring light
and they bring hope that we’re going to do
something about this, and we’re going to do it with
all these people next to me. And so you see the people
that are on your team fighting with you. – I’ve seen people out
there that have probably fresh out of the hospital,
you know that have actually lost loved ones to suicide, and they’re no longer
in crisis, but they know that it’s important to be there, and it’s important to show
the support for the work that we do. – We walked not only in memory of our son, but we also walked for my own
journey with mental health, and when you do that, you are in a place where amazing, amazing support
and love just surround you. – Let’s just say that the first step off brings tears, it’s very emotional. To not only have friends
and family support you, but to also see other people
that have been hurting come together for the same purpose. And for that one day,
you can walk in honor of, in memory of, just for one day, laugh. To have that commonality
you are not alone. You are walking through
the rain, the sunshine, whatever it may be. You are a huge unit. You are a huge force to be reckoned with. (inspirational music)



  • Saigen Rose

    Is there any Nami walks in Arkansas? If so I would definitely be interested. I struggle with mental illnesses but trying to make the best of it. Great video thanks!

  • Jared Wilmer

    As a member of NAMI Maryland and NAMI Carroll County I am incredibly proud that NAMI National chose to use footage from our walk in Baltimore!! Great work!

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