ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NAMIWalks will step forward over the next three months to raise public awareness in state and local communities about mental illness and the need for treatment and recovery.
Sponsored by state and local affiliates of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the walks help raise funds for local programs, including free family education classes and support groups for individuals and families affected by serious mental illnesses.
"NAMIWalks are fun events that support serious work," said NAMI Executive Director Mike Fitzpatrick. "NAMI's work is about hope and recovery. The challenge exists throughout the year."
The next NAMIWalk will be Sept. 11 in Vermont. Others coincide with Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 3-9), complementing many already held in the spring.
The full schedule of fall walks appears below. Links lead to local details.
This year, the walks also coincide with the Election 2010 season at a time when state budget cuts have hit mental health services hard.
"We hope all candidates will take note," Fitzpatrick said. "Mental illness affects Republicans, Democrats and independents alike."
"Our local NAMI chapter works tirelessly to fight stigma and provide vital support for area families," the director of the mental health services board in Lake County, Ohio told The New-Herald News about its local NAMIWalkon August 23.
"State budget cuts... have been devastating. Now more than ever, NAMI is an important ally for local families."
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy.
NAMI is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates.