"If you look at how mental illness has been addressed over the years, you see a lot of broken promises. You don't see a concerted, holistic effort to help people be well and stay well. [...] It will take years to address the problem the way it should be addressed. But we need to start now, we need to start aggressively. The people of NYC deserve nothing less."
(November 23, 2015) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio while speaking about ThriveNYC, NYC's mental health roadmap
Many New Yorkers are suffering, even though mental health problems are treatable. In honor of Mental Health Month, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC Metro) will host its 10th Annual NAMIWalks NYC on Saturday, May 7, at the South Street Seaport Promenade. The walk is one of the country's biggest mental health advocacy events. Together, we walk to support families and individuals with mental illness, and to eradicate the stigma they face every day.
The walk funds nearly half of NAMI-NYC Metro's free programming for the year. That includes support groups, weekend social groups, courses, and a Helpline staffed by trained peer volunteers. These services help thousands of families and individuals better cope with mental illness and navigate the NYC mental health care system. Fueled by the power of families and people living in mental health recovery helping one another, NAMI-NYC Metro programs specifically address the needs of parents and caregivers of individuals affected by mental illness, as well as the people with mental health conditions themselves. These programs serve New Yorkers who are hardest hit by mental illness, including communities of color, low-income communities, veterans, and women. Last year alone, NAMI-NYC Metro connected with over 15,000 New Yorkers.
"By helping more New Yorkers find mental health treatment in more convenient locations, we will help our communities become stronger and healthier. Immediate access to care is essential for families in need of assistance and these new programs are available when and where they are needed most."
(September 3, 2015) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Mental illness is the most stigmatized illness. Stigma prevents people from getting help. On average, it takes eight to ten years between the onset of the symptoms and someone actually getting treatment. Nine out of ten people think it's not okay to tell co-workers you have a mental health condition. Let's change these statistics. Together we can.
Silence and shame prevent people from getting help. Make a commitment to listen without judgment by using the hashtag #IWillListen. And then walk with us on May 7 to show solidarity with the 20 percent of New York adults -- more than 1.6 million -- who experience a mental health challenge each year. Walk to show the 275,000 New York high school students (25 percent) who feel persistently sad or hopeless that they are not alone.
"The Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- that law made sure that treatment for mental health was covered the same as treatment for any other illness."
(January 5, 2016) President Barack Obama
Last year, NAMIWalks NYC drew over 5,000 people and raised $530,000. We're aiming to exceed those numbers in 2016!