MOULTRIE, Ga. — South Georgia chapters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness are getting ready for the Fifth Annual NAMIWalks Southwest Georgia, to be hosted Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Colquitt County Courthouse Square by NAMI Albany and NAMI Moultrie.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy and support organization for those affected by mental illness. Every year, NAMI affiliates around the country hold NAMIWalks fundraisers to raise money and awareness for mental health initiatives in their area. NAMIWalks Southwest Georgia is one of about 100 walks taking place across America this year.
NAMIWalks are very similar to Relay for Life in that organizations, businesses, churches, and other community groups form walk teams to raise awareness and funds for a cause.
Registration and check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 19, with opening ceremonies at 10 and the walk itself starting at 10:30, according to a press release from NAMI Moultrie.
“As past participants know, our region’s NAMIWalk is a veritable fall festival, with games, prizes, activities, food, a cake auction, vendors to visit, live entertainment, and fun for the whole family,” the press release said. “The program will include remarks from Honorary Walk Chairperson Rep. CaMia Hopson of Albany.”
NAMIWalks Southwest Georgia is sponsored by a number of area businesses and organizations, including Major Sponsor Turning Point Care Center, Gold Sponsor Greenleaf Hospital, and Silver Sponsor Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, the press release said. All funds raised by the Walk support NAMI programming and educational presentations at the local level, as well as statewide initiatives to advocate for mental health.
“Although the NAMIWalk is a fundraiser, the most important goal of the Walk is to raise awareness for mental health and to combat the stigma that sadly still surrounds this issue that affects everyone, whether directly or indirectly,” the press release said. “One in 5 Americans face a mental health need every year, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, substance use disorder, and more. Unfortunately, many still mistakenly believe that mental health needs are shameful or the fault of the one in need. In actuality, mental illnesses are just like any other chronic health need, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. At the NAMIWalk, we celebrate mental health, acknowledge that mental illnesses are biological in origin but are recoverable with help, and that working together we can one day conquer the stigma.”
To register a walk team or as a walker on a team, go to www.namiwalks.org/southwestgeorgia. If you cannot attend the Walk itself, you can register as a virtual walker to show your support and to encourage your family and friends to donate. For any questions related to the Walk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (229) 921-2071.