NAMI Walk worthy cause

Thanks to athletes like Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and Michael Phelps, the topic of mental health issues has risen to the forefront of discussion in recent months.

These three are among a contingent of young people who want to sway the subject into the open and bring about change in how these issues are handled.

Of course athletes are not the only people who struggle with mental health issues. Real people of all genders and all ages sometimes have difficulty coping.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made things even worse for many.

That’s why we are grateful for an event such as this Saturday’s virtual walk in support of mental health awareness being put on by the National Alliance on Mental Illness — NAMI.

NAMI’s Alger/Marquette counties chapter is one of the 600-plus affiliates participating in the virtual, dubbed NAMIWalks Your Way: A United Day of Hope.

NAMI Alger/Marquette is participating under the regional portion of the walk titled NAMIWalks Your Way Northern Michigan. NAMI’s statewide organization, NAMI Michigan, is hoping to raise $20,000 in the northern Michigan initiative. As of Tuesday morning, $995 has been raised, according to the NAMIWalks website. Nationally, local chapters have raised a combined $11.8 million.

We hope people get involved by donating to the cause this weekend or joining NAMI’s local chapter. There are many ways to become involved:

≤ Walking a 5K around the block, at a park, or on your treadmill;

≤ Planning a craft day with your kids;

≤ Holding a bake sale and letting friends decide what you bake for a donation;

≤ Practicing self-care with a favorite hobby such as yoga, gardening or knitting;

≤ Dusting off the stationary bike or elliptical and going 3.1 miles;

≤ Posting a Sign of Hope on social media (signs can be downloaded at bit.ly/3AcTpYa).

We believe asking for help during a personal mental health crisis is a brave thing to do but it is a decision that can be a real lifesaver. Thanks to all involved in NAMI for what they do.

As NAMI said in a news release: “Last year, we saw light at the end of the tunnel — which grew closer through the first half of 2021 — and we kept walking toward it, often virtually. Let’s keep the momentum going this fall as we unite across the country to celebrate Mental Health for All.”

To find out more about NAMI’s national organization and NAMI Alger/Marquette, visit www.nami.org or www.namimqt.com.

If you’re battling mental health and are in search of help, the NAMI HelpLine is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. by dialing 800-950-6264 or by emailing info@nami.org.

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts and are in search of help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.


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