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Walk in Moultrie to raise funds for NAMI

MOULTRIE — Citizens from across southern Georgia will be joining together for the NAMI Georgia Walk Celebration in support of mental health in Moultrie on Saturday.

Registration for the walk will begin at 9 a.m. with the walk kicking off at 10 a.m. The walk will begin at the Colquitt County Courthouse at the Lewis Hill Amphitheater and proceed through downtown Moultrie to the Colquitt County Arts Center.

Three teams from Albany are taking part in the Walk Celebration: SOWEGA Stigma Stompers and We Are Family, both from NAMI Albany, and a team from Phoebe Behavioral Health, Shedding Silent Suffering.

NAMI walks are fundraising and mental health awareness events held across the country in 84 communities. The walkers at the Moultrie walk will be joining tens of thousands of other walkers nationwide to support, educate, and advocate for everyone living with mental illness.

Funds raised by NAMI Albany teams will help to support those whose lives are touched by mental illness. Regular support groups are held on the second and fourth Tuesday evenings of each month, at 6:30 p.m. at Phoebe Northwest on Dawson Road. Comprehensive illness and recovery education programs are offered on a regular basis, free of charge, to those in recovery and to family members.

Local NAMI members also can take advantage of free training to facilitate support groups and teach NAMI education programs. NAMI Albany encourages members to become active in the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and the local and state suicide prevention coalitions, providing financial support for these efforts.

“I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2003,” said a NAMI member and walk participant. “My family found a local affiliate of NAMI and took one of their signature program classes, Family-to-Family, which made a drastically positive change in their understanding and attitudes regarding my mental illness. Through NAMI’s support groups for both the families of and for those living with the mental illness themselves, I have had the opportunity and encouragement to enter into and be successful in my recovery

“I am walking with NAMI in Moultrie to raise awareness of this medical illness, eradicate stigma, and to give back to NAMI.”

Nationally NAMI hopes to raise more than $10 million in 2013 for NAMI and the mental health services it provides to thousands of families across the country. All of the funds collected through NAMI Georgia Walk Celebration in Moultrie will be used to fund NAMI programs in Georgia.

These programs include support, education, research, and advocacy for mental illnesses including but not limited to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and severe anxiety disorders.

For more information about the walk contact Lynn Wilson, Walk Manager, at (229)-891-1725 or at lynnbw45@gmail.com. For more information about NAMI Albany, to take part in the Walk or to support the Albany Walk teams, contact Pam Barfield at 229-343-8791 or at blmbarfield@aol.com.