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Stomp out the stigma on mental illness

Last month, Concord’s Red River Theatres hosted the National Alliance on Mental Illness New Hampshire kickoff lunch for the 11th annual NAMIWalks N.H. Red River overflowed with volunteers, team captains, walkers, and those interested in learning more. Some attendees have been involved with NAMIWalks N.H. for the past decade, while others are brand new to the walk. Some were drawn by professional roles, some by a desire to support friends or family affected by mental illness, and some by a willingness to share their personal struggles and triumphs in order to help others.

Attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch, participated in an Amazing Race-style team competition, and heard from a powerful lineup of speakers. Presenters shared their stories, detailing the highs and lows of journeys with mental illness, from pre-diagnosis through present day, with unimaginable hurdles, road blocks, and hope discovered along the way.

When the presentations ended, attendees left inspired, determined, and ready to raise awareness, to raise much-needed funds, and to stomp out stigma at NAMIWalks N.H. on Oct. 6.

Each day, NAMI N.H., a statewide, grassroots, nonprofit organization, works tirelessly to improve the quality of life of individuals affected by mental illness or emotional disorders through education, support and advocacy. There remains much work to be done, as approximately 254,000 adults and 55,000 children in New Hampshire will be affected by mental illness this year. NAMI N.H.’s efforts also include suicide prevention and support to those who have lost someone to suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in the state, but there are many things we can do to prevent this tragedy. If you or anyone you know is at risk for suicide, call 800-273-TALK (8255) or visit your nearest emergency room. Let’s walk together to promote resources for people at risk.

Please consider how you can help your neighbors, colleagues, friends and family members impacted by mental illness, and even how you can help yourself. We invite you to join us on Oct. 6 for NAMIWalks N.H., when we’ll pull together to stomp out the stigma around mental illness that prevents so many from accessing the help they need.

Learn more by visiting naminh.org, calling NAMI N.H. at 800-242-6264, or emailing walks@naminh.org.

(Kim Murdoch is the walk manager for NAMIWalks NH.)

Yes, if someone is acting in a strange unusual manner, please report it. You could be saving many lives

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