NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleanians are signing up for a cause aimed at ending a stigma.
The local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, also known as NAMI, kicked off registration for the NAMI Walks Your Way event happening in November.
“We hope this year we’ll go back to seeing what we saw three, four years ago in terms of hundreds and hundreds of people walking and hundreds and hundreds of people having invested themselves into this process for us,” said Calvin Johnson, Interim Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New Orleans.
NAMI, which focuses on providing resources to those who are mentally ill and educating the public about mental illness, held a kickoff party to start fundraising for their annual walk. For NAMI board member, Nancy Moore, the topic of mental health hits close to home.
“My daughter was diagnosed as being bipolar and having borderline personality disorder and she had substance abuse,” said Moore.
Since her daughter’s diagnosis, Moore has dedicated her life to helping others who struggle with mental illness and to end the stigma that surrounds it.
“There’s no reason to be traumatized or ashamed if your family member is bipolar or has schizophrenia. It is a medical condition,” said Moore.
NAMI’s registration event happened just hours after members of the New Orleans City Council discussed creating a cultural grant to invest in mental health initiatives.
Councilman Joe Giarrusso, who shared a very personal story about his father dying by suicide, pledged to invest $150,000 of that money into public schools and United Way.
The NAMI Walks Your Way event will kick off Saturday, November 5th at 10 a.m. at Armstrong Park.
Visit https://namineworleans.org/ for more information on how to register and get involved with fundraising.