NAMI Miami-Dade hosts an inspirational Walk For Mental Health Awareness

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With more than 1,200 participants and 142 teams, the Walk for Mental Health Awareness hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Miami-Dade on Saturday, May 21 raised funds for free support groups, peer mentoring, public relations and adult and youth educational programs.

The nonprofit has met its fundraising goal of $225,000 and is enabling continued growth of its presence in Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys, according to Chairman Susan Racher.

Statistics show the critical need for mental health resources in our community. In 2020, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people aged 10-14 and 25-34. As of 2021, a CDC poll found that 20 percent of teens said they had considered suicide.

“Stigma is a major barrier for people speaking about mental health or voicing their thoughts about self-harm or suicide. NAMI Miami brings awareness to this issue, normalizes the conversation, and helps people realize they are not alone when they are uncomfortable,” Racher said.

Racher and NAMI Miami Executive Director Kathy Coppola accepted a proclamation issued by the Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and the County Commission, including Eileen Higgins and Rene Garcia, recognizing the efforts and commitment of NAMI Miami-Dade and its partners to improve the quality of community life.

The inspiring first event of its kind was attended by representatives and sponsors from a variety of health and mental health agencies including Thriving Mind South Florida, Banyan Health, Baptist Health, University of Miami Department of Psychiatry, CHI, Citrus Health, Jackson Health, Nicklaus Children’s and Rogers Behavioral, as well as police officers and more, representing the front lines of the Miami-Dade mental health crisis. These professionals gathered to show their support for people living with mental health issues and to highlight the diverse resources available in Miami-Dade County.

NAMI Miami-Dade has had the enthusiastic support of many corporate and community sponsors and sponsor teams, including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as presenting sponsor; Deloitte, Bank of America, Key Biscayne Community Foundation, Miami-Dade Public Defenders Office, Fidelity Investments, The Children’s Trust, Univision Miami Contigo, Health Foundation of South Florida, Cigna and Holland and Knight. It’s not too late to donate. For a full list of sponsors, see

For more information, call 305-665-2540 or visit us and connect with us on Facebook or Instagram at @NAMIMiami.

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