Will You Walk With Us?

By Wendy Magas

NAMI Fox Valley Outreach Director

Our NAMIWalks season is well underway and we are looking for Team Captains and Walkers to help make our 7th annual NAMIWalks event the most successful yet.

Since our first Walk in 2006, the event has grown each year. We are proud to host the largest mental health education and fundraising effort in our community.  The Walk has truly become a community walk for mental illness awareness, as we engage and educate our community about mental illness while also raising funds for NAMI Fox Valley. This year’s Walk is planned for Saturday, Oct. 6 in Appleton’s Memorial Park.

Last year, 75 teams totaling more than 700 walkers, along with 46 corporate and business sponsors, collectively raised nearly $160,000. That money helped us serve more than 3,100 people with education, support and advocacy program and services. We offer support groups for those with severe mental illness and their family members. We teach classes to educate family members, police and the public about mental illness. And we empower people living with mental illness to make public presentations through our In Our Own Voice Program to show that living well with mental illness is possible.

But there is still so much work more to be done, so many more people we need to reach. Mental illness impacts our entire community, affecting one in four adults and at least one in 10 children.  Its effects are devastating – jobs are lost, families become strained and broken, and all too often, untreated mental illness can be fatal.

We need your help. Every time a Walker reaches out to a friend, family member or colleague asking them to support NAMI Fox Valley, we initiate a conversation about mental illness and our organization. Just talking openly about the realities of mental illness can be a powerful way to help break down stigma. You can help us spread the message that people suffering from mental illness deserve the same compassion, care and support as someone suffering from any other physical illness, be it diabetes, cancer or heart disease. And that NAMI Fox Valley is here for them.

Help spread our message that there is help and hope, recovery is possible, and that NAMI Fox Valley is here to support people living with mental illness, their families and their recovery.

Please, will you walk with us? This year, we hope to raise $190,000, but we need more Team Captains and Walkers to achieve this goal.  We hope you can join us as we celebrate mental illness recovery, combat stigma, promote awareness and raise funds.

To join the Walk, contact Wendy Magas at 920-954-1550 or wendy@namifoxvalley.org. For more information, visit www.namifoxvalley.org.