Walkers aim to eradicate stigma surrounding mental illness diagnoses while raising money to improve lives!
DETROIT - Anyone whose life has been impacted by the effects of mental illness gets a chance to help when the National Alliance on Mental Illness Michigan chapter hosts their sixth annual “NAMI Walks for the Mind of America” in some 80 communities – including Detroit - around the country Sept. 26.
The 5k/3-mile walk is expected to draw some 117,000 walkers nationwide. A key fund-raiser for NAMI, organizers hope to raise some $8.5 million.
The Detroit walk takes place on Belle Isle, with registration at 9:00 a.m. and the walk starting at 11 a.m. There is no registration walk fee for participants, who are encouraged to collect donations from family members, friends, co-workers and business associates.
Proceeds from the walk will fund NAMI programs in Michigan, including support, education and advocacy involving schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression), major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and severe anxiety disorders.
NAMI, founded in 1979, has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country dedicated to the eradication of mental illness and improving the quality of life for people affected.
“NAMI members are volunteers whose mission is to provide help to people with serious mental and emotional illnesses and their families,” said Sherri Solomon, executive director of NAMI Michigan. “The goals of the walk are to raise money to promote our mission and to increase public awareness of these conditions”.
Companies, organizations and families are encouraged to organize teams of walkers, made up of employees, organization members, relatives and friends. Walkers raising $100 or more get a NAMIWALKS for the Mind of America event T-shirt. Walkers also get other incentives based on amounts raised up to $5,000 or more.
Companies that don’t field teams have other ways to help. There are a variety of sponsorships available, ranging from “Kilometer Sponsor” ($250) to “Presenting Sponsor” ($10,000), each carrying various incentives and opportunities for recognition/publicity.
Anyone wishing to register for the walk or become a sponsor can do so on-line at www.nami.org/namiwalks/MI; contact walk manager Marti Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or (313) 263-2370; or Solomon at email@example.com or (517) 485-4049.