NAMI Southern Arizona Announces Annual Walk for Mental Illnessby Hot Off The Press (Release) on Mar. 29, 2013, under Press Releases
TUCSON, Ariz., March 20, 2013 – The National Alliance on Mental Illness Southern Arizona (www.namisa.org) will hold its 7th annual fundraising walk at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 6, 2013. The event, which will include entertainment, snacks and a resource fair, is expected to draw at least 4,000 participants to raise money and awareness about mental illness.
“Mental Illnesses affect far more people than we realize,” says Rebecca Garfunkel, Communications Director for NAMI Southern Arizona. “One out of five Americans will be affected by at least one diagnosable mental illness in a given year.”
Garfunkel notes that there is a subset of mental illnesses that is particularly troubling and which takes up much of the expense associated with mental illness. “In Pima County alone, one in 10 of us will suffer from a Serious Mental Illness. SMIs, as we call them, include schizo-affective disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depressive
illness), major depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Each of these is called an SMI because it disrupts a person’s major life functions unless he is treated. Those with SMIs live an average of 25 years less than those without such illnesses.”
“Getting treatment is important,” says NAMI Southern Arizona Executive Director H. Clarke Romans, PhD. “Without treatment, jobs, relationships, wellness and the economy at large suffer.” But that’s not all, says Romans. “Quality of life is also damaged.”
The failure of some with mental illness to receive the help they need has been front and center in the wake of mass shootings in Tucson; Aurora, Colo.; Newtown, Conn. and at Virginia Tech. According to Romans, “stigma and lack of education keep many people from getting the help they need. Events like the NAMIWalk raise awareness for
ourselves, our friends and our neighbors and can help make a more receptive, safer community for us all.”
For more information, call (520) 622-5582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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NAMI Southern Arizona is a 501(c)(3) and thirty year affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization devoted to education, support and advocacy for the mentally ill and their families.