NAMIWalks Big Island goes virtual Saturday

Each year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness brings together community, family members and friends to raise mental health awareness and funds through NAMIWalks events across the country. This year NAMIWalks is “going virtual.”

On Saturday, Big Island will participate in NAMIWalks Your Way: A National Day of Hope. This day also marks World Mental Health Day and the last day of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

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Instead of walking a 5K together at Lili‘uokalani Gardens, participants will choose an activity of their choice and join virtually with nearly 70 other NAMIWalks and hundreds of thousands of mental health advocates from across the country.

Many participants still plan to walk, using their treadmill or going outside in the backyard or through a local park — all while taking precautions to stay safe. Others plan to hula-hoop, flip pancakes, practice yoga or do another activity they enjoy. They will share their activities on social media and follow NAMI Hawaii’s program that includes mental health facts and participant activities.

“One in five adults experience mental illness, but it touches five in five people either directly or indirectly,” according to Susan McGovern, NAMI Big Island affiliate walk manager. “Now more than ever, our communities need to come together to raise awareness and let people know they are not alone. Our walk slogan ‘mental health for all’ has never been truer.”

To join NAMIWalks Your Way, visit namiwalks.org/bigisland.

There is no registration fee, but fundraising is encouraged. Funds raised support NAMI Big Island’s free local mental health family education programs, family support groups and other services.

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For information about upcoming NAMI programs and services visit www.namihawaii.org.

For questions on the virtual walk contact Walk Manager Susan McGovern at 238-0074. For NAMI programs and services contact Kathy Hammes at 959-2426.

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