Posted on May 13, 2011
by Kate Moyer and Joe Shaffer
Reception Unit, Fountain House
On Saturday May 7, a Fountain House Team of more than 120 staff, members, friends, and family joined approximately 4,000 New Yorkers for the 2011 NAMI Walks NYC, the largest mental health awareness walk in the U.S. We were blessed with sunshine and warm temperatures for the five kilometer (3.1 miles) walk, which began at South Street Seaport and proceeded across the Brooklyn Bridge before looping back to the seaport.
The annual walk benefits the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC Metro). This year, participants raised over $350,000 to fund the many NAMI-NYC Metro programs that support New Yorkers affected by mental illness. Several Fountain House members are involved in NAMI’s programming, and we have developed and sustained a strong working relationship with the organization. NAMI-NYC Metro Executive Director Wendy Brennan explained that, "NAMI Walks NYC is a public demonstration that recovery from mental illness is possible, and that people with mental illness can live meaningful and productive lives."
The NAMI Walk has become a wonderful yearly occasion for our community to get together and display our pride in our clubhouse. This event serves as a particularly poignant opportunity for our members to show support for one another and demonstrate their common sense of purpose, determination, and hope. It also helps us to sustain the momentum we have been building around physical health and wellness. It’s inspiring to see over one hundred people decked out in Fountain House t-shirts, chanting, laughing, chatting with old friends and making new ones. As member Hector Rivera put it, “It’s really awesome to see everyone here, with all the energy. I can’t wait ‘til next year!”