LOS ANGELES, CA, December 24, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ — NAMIWalks Los Angeles County, the largest mental health fundraising walk in Los Angeles, announced this week that the Walk raised $442,297. “This is one of the three largest NAMIWalks in the nation,” said Shelley Hoffman, NAMIWalks Manager. “We are at 98% of our $450,000 goal and we are still accepting donations.”
The annual NAMIWalks event raises funds for FREE programs and services, bringing the NAMI message of HOPE to more people. The walk is a combined effort for all twelve Los Angeles County National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) affiliates.
The Honorable Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State, and his family joined over 3000 walkers from twelve local NAMI affiliates and from every corner of Los Angeles County on October 1st at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles for the walk.
Emmy-nominated actress Mayim Bialik, star of the CBS hit The Big Bang Theory, raised $12,503 and Carly Chaikin, co-star of award-winning show Mr. Robot, raised $10,858. Both actors have a strong personal commitment to mental health, and both reached many fans who might not have been aware of NAMI otherwise.
“NAMIWalks Los Angeles County and the 12 local NAMI affiliates are grateful for their support and thankful for all efforts at busting stigma and raising awareness about mental health issues,” said NAMI Los Angeles County Executive Director Brittney Weissman.
The theme for the 2016 NAMIWalks was Lights, Camera, Action on Mental Health! A series of PSAs in support of NAMI and NAMIWalks were recorded by Bialik and Chaikin. The PSAs remind viewers that words often used to describe someone with a mental health condition, such as nutjob, OCD and schizo, can be painful.
“In a country where one in five people are affected by a mental health condition, it’s time for all of us to step up and change the conversation,” Bialik says in the PSA. Bialik then calls on viewers to see the person, not the condition.
Bialik’s virtual team, Grok Nation for NAMI, allowed fans and friends to support NAMIWalks by donating online. She also made a national fundraising appeal through a specially made video for NAMI. Chaikin attended the walk and mobilized fans with social media fundraising challenges, and both stars made a strong commitment to messaging and fundraising on behalf of NAMI Los Angeles County.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI works to end stigma by bringing awareness to mental health, providing support, educating the public and advocating for equal care. Mental illness can be treated, and people living with mental illness can recover to live fulfilling lives. To learn more about how NAMI can help, visit namilacc.org. All NAMI programs and services are free of charge, for individuals living with mental illness and families and friends who care for them.