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National Alliance On Mental Illness Hosts Manhattan's First-Ever NAMI Walk

Armen Hareyan's picture

The National Alliance of Mental Illness is teaming up with NAMI Bronx and NAMI Harlem for a 5K WALK on Saturday, May 12, to support the nearly half million New Yorkers living with mental health disorders.

By participating in Manhattan's first-ever WALK to combat the stigma against mental illness, families, friends, advocates, and healthcare providers will send a collective message to the city that mental illnesses are real and affect individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Dominic Carter, a senior political reporter with NY1, will serve as the grand marshal, leading participants in the WALK across the Brooklyn Bridge. Mr. Carter has written a book, "No Momma's Boy," about his experiences growing up in New York City with his mother, who suffered from schizophrenia.

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"I am honored to be the grand marshal for this inaugural WALK and hope that by coming out publicly, I can help fight the shame that has too long been associated with mental illness. In my heart I have always walked for mental illness, and now I am so proud to walk with the community," said Mr. Carter.

People with severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often faced with discrimination that can lead to inadequate treatment, isolation, self-blame, and shame. Without a proper understanding of such illnesses, family members can often absorb this discrimination and blame their loved ones.

"This WALK is a natural extension of the NAMI-NYC Metro tradition of educating and empowering New York families living with mental illness," said NAMI-NYC Metro President Charlotte Moses Fischman. "We are looking forward to the community coming together through this highly visible effort to support those affected by these devastating and misunderstood illnesses."

The WALK will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the South Street Seaport and continue halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge and back. All walkers must register, but there is no registration fee. Everyone is encouraged to reach out to family, friends, coworkers, and business associates to support the WALK. Anyone who raises $100 or more on or before the date of the WALK will receive a NAMI WALKS t-shirt.