In honor of Mental Health Awareness month in May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Miami is hosting Miami-Dade County’s first Walk for Mental Health, “NAMIWalks Your Way,” on May 22, 2021 from 9 am – 4 pm. The hybrid outdoor and virtual event, Miami-Dade County’s first walk to raise awareness and funding for local mental health support, still has sponsorship and walk team opportunities available for those interested in participating.
The walk is designed to combat the stigma of mental health conditions and raise funds for NAMI Miami’s free programs such as support groups, peer mentoring programs, outreach and educational classes. Despite of the physical challenges presented during the pandemic, NAMI Miami aided more than 8,000 students, young adults, adults, families and 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 including Segal Trials, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, FL, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and many community partners, volunteers and friends.
According to a recent survey conducted by PEW Research Center, about a fifth of U.S. adults (21%) are experiencing serious psychological distress. And 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.
NAMI Miami-Dade will kick off the event the week prior to May 22, presenting live-streamed speakers, entertainment and other activities during the week leading up to May 22. These programs will foster a sense of community, showcase sponsors, and raise awareness 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 part 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.
For more information, registration, and/or donations, visit NAMIWalks.org/Miami; email Kris Eschman at Kris@NAMIMiami.org or call 305-665-2540.
About the NAMI Miami-Dade County
NAMI Miami-Dade County is an affiliate of the nation’s largest peer-led mental health organization. NAMI Miami-Dade offers free, safe, and confidential mental health support, education, and advocacy for individuals and their families and friends in both English and Spanish. For more information, call 305-665-2540, email Kris@NAMIMiami.org or visit NAMIMiami.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Meetup at @NAMIMiami.