NAMI New Jersey held its statewide NAMI Walk on Saturday, May 12 at Seaside Park, NJ. Over 1500 individuals, representing a broad spectrum of mental health advocates, attended the Walk, which was held on the boardwalk on a bright sunny day. The Walk has raised over $135,000 that will help provide education, support, and advocacy for those affected by mental illness and their families. Donations can be contributed both online and by mail until June 30, 2012.
Individuals and families affected by mental illness were the strongest presence, and were energized by the feeling of solidarity and support in the crowd. Extended families brought large teams to support a loved one who was affected by mental illness, and made it a festive affair, with colorful team T shirts. Chris Bosco, who put together a team of 49 family members and friends, said “The walk was a great opportunity to share a day of fun and laughs by the beach and illustrate that mental illnesses are treatable illnesses like any other.”
Speakers included Brigadier General Grant, the head of the National Guard in New Jersey, Senator Menendez, and Congressman John Runyan.
An inspiring article about Eric Arauz, NAMI NJ Walk Chair and Desert Storm Veteran: Reinterpreting life after mental illness.