This Saturday I'll be walking with Courtney Lawson's team (The Awesomeheads). Courtney Lawson is the boss of NAMI for our area and I asked her to be a guest blogger today. Take it away Courtney...

According to, only 38% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Two factors that significantly impact this unacceptably low treatment rate: lack of awareness and stigma. Mental illness continues to be misrepresented and misunderstood.

NAMIWalks Southeast Minnesota raises awareness about mental illness and funds for education and support programs that improve the lives of those affected. These programs challenge inaccurate information, subsequently chipping away at the resulting stigma.

Mental illness is a sobering topic, yet NAMIWalks is a celebration.

We celebrate recovery—treatments for mental illness are remarkably effective in symptom reduction—and hope that prevails when the right supports are in place.

We celebrate people living with mental illness and their families, because each warm welcome, each supportive interaction, and each assurance of “you’re not alone” is progress along the journey to recovery.

We celebrate every participant who, by virtue of being there, affirms mental health matters.

We celebrate the richness of the gifts people living with mental illness share with the world; research shows mental illness correlates with admired traits like empathy, realism, intelligence and leadership skills.

We celebrate everyone who has had the courage to ask for help.

We celebrate magical moments when a deep, authentic connection is made over three short words: “Oh, you too?”

We celebrate YOU joining us!
What You Need To Know

NAMIWalks 2015
Saturday, September 26
11:30 a.m. Registration / 12:30 p.m. Program / 1:00 p.m. Walk
RCTC Regional Sports Center Fieldhouse
851 30th Ave SE, Rochester
register at: