NAMIWalks Iowa Unites Iowans Around Mental Health for All
On Saturday, September 24, hundreds of Iowans will gather together to walk in support of mental health for all. NAMIWalks Your Way Iowa 2022 unites participants around ending mental health stigmas and increasing access and equity in Iowa’s mental health system. This is the 16th annual NAMIWalks Iowa event, and organizers are anticipating record-breaking turnout. All funds raised support NAMI Iowa’s education, support, and advocacy work in Iowa.
The event takes places at 9:00 a.m. on September 24 at Terra Park in Johnston. Registration is open at namiwalks.org/iowa for anyone who wishes to start a walk team or join as an individual walker. Participants throughout Iowa can also “Walk Your Way” and register to walk at a local park or trail, or even on their treadmill!
NAMIWalks participants walk, donate, and volunteer for many reasons; most have a personal connection and purpose. Some have experienced mental health challenges themselves; others have helped and supported a family member navigating the mental health system. Many participants work in a field that supports mental health. Others have lost a child, sibling, or friend to suicide. It has never been more important to raise awareness about mental health in Iowa. One in four Iowans will experience a mental health condition this year. Suicide is the ninth-leading cause of death for all Iowans, and the second-leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34 nationwide. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic exacerbated these statistics. Mental health concerns span every age group, demographic, and geographic location in Iowa. Almost all of us are personally impacted by mental health conditions in some way, whether we are navigating our own challenges or supporting a loved one.