20th Annual NAMIWalks for mental health held Saturday

Advocates participated in the 20th annual NAMIWalks in pursuit for “mental health for all” 5K walk.
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 5:47 PM CDT
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EAST MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) – Advocates participated in the 20th annual NAMIWalks in pursuit for “mental health for all” 5K walk Saturday.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or locally known as NAMIWalks in the Quad Cities, there is an increase for accessible, affordable mental health care.

On Saturday, over 500 registered walkers participated in the annual walk to raise awareness for mental health at the Bend XPO amphitheater & park in East Moline.

“You either deal with it, or you have a family member or close relative friends who deal with it,” said Malik Khaliq, who lost a loved one due to struggles with mental health. “If more awareness is brought in, the easier it is to talk about it easier it is to communicate about it easier it is to get help about. We live in an environment which is very difficult to deal with mental health because it doesn’t have a scar and it doesn’t carry a sign. So, that’s our objective to bring awareness so people know where they can go.”

Several sponsors walked the 5K course, such as Genesis, Vera French, and many others in hopes to raise money that will help financially contribute to create a world where anyone affected by mental illness can experience freedom from stigma, recovery, and hope.

“And that’s what this is about, is that knowing that everybody is here for you, not just professionals,” said Director of Counseling at Augusta College and GMV Board President of NAMI, Bill Iavarone. “Talk about it. get the conversation started. Feel that compassion that’s not just coming from a professional life but from our human knowledge from our lived experience or connection.”

Many of the vendors were all outlets for those that needed mental help. Pamphlets were available and help would just be a call away.

This year’s edition of NAMIWalks raised over $130,000.