NAMIWalks Your Way is returning to the streets of Los Angeles this May. The previous edition was held virtually, thanks to the COVID pandemic playing spoilsport. This year, the largest mental health advocacy event in Southern California, is back for good.
NAMI Greater Los Angeles County announced that its annual NAMIWalks Your Way is returning to Grand Park on Saturday, May 21, 2022. May is traditionally observed as Mental Health Awareness month in the US, and NAMIWalks Los Angeles County presents a unique fund raising opportunity for free programmes and services to those affected by mental illness.
The COVID pandemic has had a devastating effect on mental health across the globe. Today, nearly 1 billion people live with a mental disorder, and every 40 seconds, a person dies by suicide. The rise in mental health problems has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns and constantly changing demographics.
Most problems are a result of the society not accepting that mental illness is a serious cause for concern. The stigma associated with having poor mental health becomes a burden for the victim – another reason why people tend to shy away from talking about the sensitive topic. The topic also comes across as taboo in many conservative families, and is silently swept under the carpet.
NAMIWalks Your Way aims to change this toxic trend. Rather than brush the whole thing away, the event welcomes people to open up and share their experiences, and hopefully find a log-term solution to deal with their inner demons.
Talking about the event, Traute Winters, NAMI Greater L.A. County’s Executive Director, was ecstatic, saying, “We’re especially excited to bring people together again to celebrate given the past two years of social isolation and hardship. NAMIWalks L.A. County is all about gathering in community to break down stigma, raise awareness about mental health issues, and making it easier for folks to seek help and support.”
This year, actors Mayim Bialik and Risa Dorken will be NAMIWalks ambassadors and help spread the word. “Both women have independently worked to push forward conversations around mental health and are inspiring fans globally to open up about their internal struggles,” noted Davi Weber, NAMIWalks Manager, signifying why the two are the perfect choice.
NAMI Greater Los Angeles County will partner with Forest Lawn Memorial Parks, The Rotter Family, and Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc., this year. The event will also be held simultaneously with NAMIWalks all over the United States and will be the highlight of the Mental Health Awareness Month.