The annual NAMIWalks Southwest Missouri event, scheduled for Saturday, May 30, will be moving from a group walk to an internet gathering because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new event is being called NAMIWalks Your Way: A National Day of Hope.
The fundraising walk was scheduled to be a 5K at Glendale High School. Instead, participants will be encouraged to film themselves on treadmills, walking in their backyard, or other kinds of physical activities to help raise funds for awareness of mental illness.
“One in five adults experience mental illness, but it touches five in five people either directly or indirectly,” Stephanie Appleby, Executive Director of NAMI SWMO, said in a statement. “Now more than ever, our communities need to come together to raise awareness and let people know they are not alone.”
The walk is gaining extra attention this year due to a spike in people seeking help for mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and social lockdown.
“This year we are already seeing an increased demand for mental health services, due to COVID and increased stress and anxiety. Professionals in the field are anticipating these numbers to swell even more” Addie Blankenship, Director of NAMI SWMO’s Hope Center, said in a statement. “Our walk slogan ‘mental health for all’ has never been truer.”
The event is sponsored locally in part by Cox Health and Burrell Behavioral Health. If you want to participate in the walk, visit the NAMI Southwest Missouri website.