Written By: Denise Stuart, NAMI Nebraska Board Chair
As Mental Health Awareness Month is coming to a close, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Nebraska is busier than ever gearing up for our annual NAMIWalks event. Every year, our NAMIWalks event brings people and families together from across Nebraska to promote awareness of mental illness, raise funds for NAMI Nebraska, and build community so people know they are not alone.
This year has presented all of us with some new challenges. So, NAMIWalks has decided to go virtual. Almost 40 NAMIWalks which were scheduled for this spring will be coming together, virtually, for “A National Day of Hope” on Saturday, May 30th. We hope you join us with NAMIWalks Your Way. Picture it… thousands of people, all across the United States, walking to celebrate mental health, to stomp out stigma, and build awareness of how people can help.
You can join us by going to www.namiwalks.org/nebraska. Help us to help others. Form a team, join as a walker, support a walker by donating to their page, and spread the word by sharing the web page with others. NAMIWalks Nebraska will take place virtually on NAMI Nebraska’s Facebook page. Please like and follow NAMI Nebraska on Facebook, so that you can join in our activities and the virtual experience. Some of our participants will still be walking this year: on the treadmill, outside for a few laps around the backyard or local park — all while taking the most careful precautions to stay safe. Others will be hula hooping, reciting poems, flipping pancakes, or whatever activity they find fun and meaningful. Be sure to use the hashtag #NAMIWalksNEverAlone on your social media, as we continue to spread the word.
The money raised by this event supports the free educational programs and support groups provided across the state. The signature programs being offered include: NAMI Connections, NAMI Family Support Group, NAMI Family-to-Family, NAMI Ending the Silence, and NAMI Provider*. Online options are available for NAMI Basics and NAMI Homefront. To learn more about each program, go to: www.nami.org/Support-Education. Currently, these programs are touching thousands of individuals and families each year and we are continually looking for different opportunities to expand our reach, as mental health discussions are at an all-time high.
We have had the opportunity to experience many new “firsts” during this unprecedented time. Some of these include working from home, teaching our children math in the backyard, having a drive-thru graduation, and the pleasant surprise of being able to drive the speed limit on 1-80 during rush hour. These are experiences that we won’t soon forget. As we are working together to create a new normal, NAMI Nebraska wants to be a part of the solution through our support groups and educational classes*. To register for the weekly Connection support group, email firstname.lastname@example.org and to register for the weekly Family Support group, email email@example.com.
NAMI Nebraska will continue to do all we can to be a leader in the mental health community and raise awareness of mental health through advocacy and education efforts. We look forward to the future of more trainings and opportunities to increase that awareness across the state. We know that an individual can make a difference, but together we can make a change. Contact us at (402) 345-8101 with any questions.
*Services are being provided via Zoom at this time.