[MIAMI] – The month of May is Mental Health Awareness month. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Miami is hosting Miami-Dade County’s first Walk for Mental Health. “NAMIWalks Your Way,” will be on May 22, 2021 from 9 am – 4 pm. The hybrid outdoor and virtual event is the County’s first walk to raise awareness and funding for local mental health support. Sponsorship and walk team opportunities available for those interested in participating.
The walk is designed to combat the stigma of mental health conditions. Plus, raise funds for NAMI Miami’s free programs. Programs include support groups, peer mentoring programs, outreach and educational classes.
Despite the physical challenges presented during the pandemic, NAMI Miami aided more than 8,000 students, young adults, adults, and families. In addition t0 local leaders with its prevention, education, mental wellness and support programs. These programs are always offered at no cost to participants, led by NAMI trained peer-leaders and remain confidential.
“Psychological distress in 2021 amid the pandemic caused a marked increase in the demand for mental health services in our community,” said Susan Racher, NAMI Miami Board President. “Our goal is to provide mental health for all. And we can begin to achieve that with such supportive partners in our inaugural Walk. Partners include Segal Trials, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, FL, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and many community partners, volunteers and friends.
Correlation of the Pandemic and Stress
According to a recent survey by the PEW Research Center, about 21% of U.S. adults are experiencing serious psychological distress. Meanwhile, 28% of respondents have stated the outbreak has changed their lives in a major way.
The psychological and financial effects of the pandemic add urgency to NAMI’s outreach efforts. NAMI Miami’s free programs augment clinical and therapeutic care according to evidence informed standards.
Mental Heath Awareness Events
NAMI Miami-Dade will kick off the event the week prior to May 22. This includes presenting live-streamed speakers, entertainment and other activities during the week. These programs will foster a sense of community, showcase sponsors, and raise awareness. Especially about the crucial wellness resources that NAMI Miami provides during these trying times.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools counselors will be leading walk teams. As a result of NAMI’s partnership with the District in “Ending the Silence” youth and family awareness programming.
Sponsorship benefits are available for this historic inaugural event and range from $250 to $15,000. Sponsors will have the opportunity to join other organizations, corporations, foundations and individuals on a national level while supporting the effort to increase awareness of mental health challenges during one of the most arduous years in history.
The event will allow “Walk Teams” to take part by choosing safe activities. Like walking the beach, a park, around a neighborhood, practicing yoga, organizing safe group activities outside or live- streaming a skill such as cooking, dancing or painting. Team leaders will recruit members to join them, and to help fund-raise via email, social media or phone calls.