(SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA) -- The 9th annual National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 5K NAMIWalk San Francisco Bay Area is Saturday, June 1st in Golden Gate Park. Proceeds from the walk are used to underwrite and support much-needed mental health programs provided for free by eight Bay Area NAMI affiliates in Alameda, Alameda County South, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.
This year's Opening Ceremony Speaker is Kevin Hines, one of only 33 people who have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived. Since that fateful day on September 25, 2000, Hines has become one of the leading mental health advocates of our time and an international motivational speaker who reminds everyone that "Life is a Gift."
At the age of seventeen, Hines was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. At nineteen, he began having thoughts of suicide as he suffered and struggled to understand his own illness.
"I would not have jumped if someone -- even a complete stranger -- had asked me if I was all right that day -- whether it was another passenger on the bus or a pedestrian on the bridge deck itself. All it would have taken was a simple question: "Are you OK?," Hines says. "What my "mistake" taught me was the importance of our responsibility to one another. I am so thankful for the support of family and friends who have helped me weather the hard times that are inevitable when one has -- like I do-- a mental illness."
Hines' will to live and stay mentally well has inspired hundreds of thousands of people worldwide His compelling story has touched diverse audiences on university campuses, organizations, corporations, clergy, military, clinicians, the medical community, community organizations, and international conferences. His new book, "Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt," will be released on July 16, 2013.
In 2012, Hines was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding work as a suicide prevention advocate and speaker. He has also been recognized by SAMSHA as a Voice Awards Fellow and Award Winner, an Achievement Winner by Veterans Affairs, and he has received a Three Star Marine Generals Medal Award in addition to his numerous accolades.
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Thousands of families, volunteers, community groups, corporate employees, medical personnel, NAMI staff and people living with mental illness from the Bay Area will join over 80 communities holding walks across the nation in support of NAMI and mental health services.
The 2013 NAMIWalk SF Bay Area is more important than ever. In an effort to address budget shortfalls, two-thirds of states have cut a total of $1.8 billion in mental health services spending since 2009. The State of California alone has cut more than $587 million, one of the largest cuts among states across the U.S.
In 2012, the walk raised over $420,000 which was shared among the nine affiliates participating last June 2nd. Proceeds from the 2013 walk will continue to be used to underwrite and support local mental health programs provided by eight Bay Area NAMI affiliates most needed in their areas as a FREE public service.
NAMI programs and services include:
• Family to Family, a multi-week support and education course for family members of people with mental illness,
• Parents and Teachers as Allies, an in-service program helping school professionals better understand the early warning signs of mental illnesses in children,
• In Our Own Voice, an anti-stigma speaker's bureau to help educate others about mental health issues,
• Multi-cultural agency partnerships that provide classes and education materials in Spanish and Chinese,
• Veteran's Resource Center provides support for veterans and active duty personnel dealing with mental health issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and support groups for their family members.
• NAMI works with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Department to help educate officers on how to address the mentally ill through BART's Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) program.
• NAMI also advocates politically locally and nationally for improved public policies addressing the needs of the mentally ill and their families.
WHAT: 9th Annual 5K NAMIWalk SF Bay Area
(Supports free services of eight NAMI affiliates in Alameda, Alameda County South, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.)
WHEN: Saturday, June 1st
Check-in: 9:00 AM, Opening Ceremony: 10:30 AM, Walk Start: 11:00 AM, Post-Walk Festivities to 2:00 PM. (music, info booths, food for purchase or bring a picnic lunch)
WHERE: Lindley Meadow in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park (30th Avenue and JFK Drive)
REGISTRATION: To pre-register go to https://www.NAMIWalkSFBay.org or call 1-800-556-2401. On-site registration starts at 9:00 AM. (Children under 18 with a guardian and dogs on leashes are welcome.)
COST: Registration for walkers is FREE thanks to sponsor donations.
Funds are raised by Team Captains from donations by walk-team supporters and sponsors. Corporate sponsors include biotechnology giant Genentech (Premiere Sponsor) and information technology giant Hitachi (Presenting Sponsor). These companies join Premiere Sponsors Mary Alexander, Dixon Financial Services and John Muir Behavioral Health, among other donors and sponsors. It is through donations to walk-teams and generous sponsors like these that allow the important work of non-profit NAMI affiliates to continue providing their free services and programs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit https://www.NAMIWalkSFBay.org.
Founded in 1979, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a non-profit, grassroots organization with over 1,000 affiliates nationwide that provides education, support services and advocacy to improve the lives of everyone affected by mental illness. NAMI had its origins in San Mateo County, California in 1974 through Parents of Adult Schizophrenics at a time when mothers were being blamed for causing mental illness. Today, NAMI is as the most formidable grassrootsmental health advocacy organization in the country. For information about NAMI programs, visit https://www.NAMI.org.
(SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA) -- The 9th annual National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 5K NAMIWalk San Francisco Bay Area is Saturday, June 1st in Golden Gate Park. Proceeds from the walk are used to underwrite and support much-needed mental health programs provided for free by ei...