Local NAMI walk raises awareness, money for mental health services
TOLEDO, Ohio — Over the course of these last couple of years, we have collectively realized the importance of mental health services. And today, an event was held to raise awareness, as well as funds, for a local organization that’s doing the work.
“May is Mental Health Month and we are so excited to be able to bring our annual NAMI walk back in-person, and we’re even more excited that we get to do it right here in our brand new facility, in our own parking lot,” said Robin Isenberg, executive director of NAMI Greater Toledo.
The walk was attended by hundreds of people who have either struggled with their mental health and received help from NAMI, or simply wanted to support the cause. To Isenberg, it said a lot about our current outlook on mental health here in the United States.
“I think that it shows that we all, over the past few years, have felt a little bit isolated and stressed, and maybe a little bit about what it feels like to live with mental health challenges. We’re excited about that. Then I also think people are starting conversations about mental health that they never have spoken about before,” she added.
For local radio personality Eric Chase, whose mental health journey is a familiar one to many, it’s good seeing people take advantage of NAMI’s free services.
“More people are taking care of their mental health or being aware of it and trying to find help and NAMI’s a great place for that. A great place to start to get the direction to go where you want to go, so you can be in a better headspace. Because you’re not doing anything without your brain,” said Chase. “Thankfully, the mental health levy passed a couple of weeks ago; that helps keep resources at NAMI free.”
While the stigma that surrounds seeking treatment is beginning to dwindle, it’s still something a significant amount of people neglect to do. That’s why Chase continues to encourage our community to take charge over their mental health.
“It’s like going to the dentist twice a year. Make the appointment now because in six months, which might be how long you have to wait, you can go talk to somebody. We should all talk to somebody and just get those things out there,” he explained.