The NAMI Walk 2015 – Importance of advocacy
On October 3rd, 2015, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is celebrating the 13th anniversary of NAMIWalks in Los Angeles, California. NAMIWalks is an event designed to raise awareness as well as resources to change public perception of those with mental illnesses while encourage them pursue treatment. Los Angeles is just one city hosting the event, with many other states having walks on different weekends, including one in Irvine, California, on October 10th.
NAMI started in 1979 and grew into a large grassroots organization seeking to assist the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI not only works to assist mental health patients, but also acts as a resource for their loved ones. The organization seeks to benefit the public in four major ways:
- The Helpline – NAMI provides a helpline that operates five days a week for individuals seeking referrals, information and a supportive ear. The hotline is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., EST
- Advocacy – The organization strives to help shape public policy surrounding the recognition and treatment of mental illness in the United States. It also provides volunteers with the resources to improve mental health in the states.
- Education – NAMI has a website available, educating visitors on mental illness, provide information on assisting loved ones with mental illness and communicate the difficulties facing this vulnerable population in addition to helpful facts and statistics.
- Leadership – Through events and other forms of media coverage, NAMI strives to inform the public of mental health priorities and fight stigma in the public and government domains. Mental Illness Awareness Week and NAMIWalks are just a few examples of helpful events NAMI hosts each year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) notes the importance of mental health advocacy, as they find many countries lack parity between mental and physical health care, the right to physical and mental autonomy and mental health education in schools and workplaces. Human rights violations against mental illness patients are also a major issue, WHO notices.
They seek to help mental health throughout the world by making sure governments include mental health in their agendas, motivating officials to provide easy access to mental health care to patients and remove stigma for people needing help.
Sovereign Health Group is a supporter of mental health advocacy and NAMI. Mental health is a serious consideration for each human being. Call today for a referral to one of our providers for help if needed.