MARQUETTE — The National Alliance on Mental Illness, also known as NAMI, held an event today at the Ore Dock Brewing Company. This event was created to help bring awareness of mental illness and to get the local community involved in a future walk that is being hosted in Marquette.
NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. The event is getting the community of Marquette involved with the organization and inviting people to come help cure the stigma of mental illness.
NAMI rose over $120 Million in the last 15 years by traveling around the nation and hosting these walks that provide community bonding and donations that help families and or individuals with mental illness. They averaged around 80 walks a year and most of the money donated is given back to help the local community with mental illness awareness programs.
But the primary focus of this organization is to help people get the help they need by breaking the barrier of mental illness stigmas.
“Many people won’t seek the help they need because of stigma,” said, NAMI Michigan Executive Director, Kevin Fischer. “Stigma is sometimes just making people feel less than, or that it is a personal weakness rather than a medical diagnosis. So across the country that is one of our main goals and that’s the main goal of the walk is to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma. This is so that people who need help will go out and seek the help they need.”
Mental illness does not discriminate and is hard on all who are affected by the illnesses. NAMI is very dedicated to providing help to local communities that are going through these issues and believe that this organization can help save the lives of individuals who go through these bumps in life.
“Mental illness does not discriminate by race, color, locale, socially economic or any of those other factors,” added Fischer. “Mental illness affects us all, so this is not business to us. This is very personal to us because we believe that recovery is possible. We believe we can save lives if we eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness.”
NAMI is also looking for local businesses and the community to come out and be a part of the solution to curing the stigma of these illnesses.
“So we ask that businesses get involved either as a sponsorship or if it’s not something that you can do as a sponsor you could have a company team,” said, National Manager of Fund development and Events, Kris Eschman. “So if people come out and show that we support people that have mental illness, that we aren’t afraid to talk about it and that we can come out to events like this. Then they won’t be afraid to talk about it, we can stomp out stigma and we can cure it.”
NAMI Walks is hosting their big walk event on August 18th in Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette Michigan, where you too can help bring awareness to mental illness.