Citizens of Oklahoma take action together with thousands across the country on Saturday, May 18, 2013 in support of National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Oklahoma to raise awareness and reduce stigma about mental illness. According to Gail Israel, Development Coordinator of NAMI Oklahoma, “Our Walk will be held at Stars and Stripes Park at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City at 8:00am for registration and 9:15am for the 10th annual 5K walk, where dedicated participants will friend and fund raise.”
“There is dignity and empowerment in acting together with others who believe. We believe in protecting the lives, liberties, and pursuit of jobs, homes, and families – a full life, for people with mental illness,” says Elizabeth, a walker who suffers from schizophrenia. “Like any physical illness, mental illness, while grossly misunderstood, is not a disorder to be ashamed of – the shame is to ignore it.”
“My daughter has a serious mental illness and this is one of the main reasons why I am walking for NAMI. My daughter was diagnosed years ago, but unfortunately we didn’t know about NAMI until last year. Once I was connected to NAMI Oklahoma, I was able to take their Family to Family Course and join a support group. When my daughter had a major breakdown, it was the knowledge I gained from Family to Family, attending weekly Support Group meetings, and the wonderful friends I have made at NAMI that carried us through. I am walking to help at least one person who is in a similar situation,” says Carolyn, NAMI Edmond/N. OKC member and walker.
In 2013 there will be close to 87 NAMIWalks across America. The goal of every volunteer, sponsor, walker, and supporter is simple; to involve as many people as possible and to raise enough support so that NAMI can help as many Americans with mental illness as possible.
NAMIWalks in Oklahoma City is sponsored in part by many national and local businesses. Our major sponsor is Irish Realty. There will be music, food, and fun for the whole family at the event. The honorary chairs are Dr. R. Murali Krishna, Mr. Kailash Sachdeva, and Oklahoma’s Mental Health Commissioner, Terri White.
Dr. Krishna, President & COO, INTEGRIS Mental Health and the James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body & Spirit will be presenting the Dr. R. Murali Krishna Family Eliminate the Stigma of Mental Illness Award before the 5 Walk. The $1,000 cash award was developed as a way to honor persons or organizations that have shown an outstanding contribution to the community by eliminating stigma about mental illness and improving the lives of those affected by mental illness. For information on nominations for the Dr. R. Murali Family “Eliminate the Stigma” award, contact Gail Israel. Dr. Krishna has recently published a book -- VIBRANT, To Heal and Be Whole, From India to Oklahoma City. Proceeds from the book will go to endow the Dr. R. Murali Krishna Family Eliminate the Stigma of Mental Illness Award through the INTEGRIS Foundation. The book will be on sale at the Walk and Dr. Krishna will be onsite after the walk for book signing. To participate in the WALK as a walker or sponsor, contact Gail Israel at (405) 230-1900 or at email@example.com or visit NAMIWalks website at www.namiwalks.org/oklahoma for more information.
Where: Stars & Stripes Park
Address: 3701 S. Lake Hefner