Last year, I shared with many of you my personal story and testimony of overcoming many years of intense depression and being a true survivor of suicide. That story becomes less and less talked about as that part of my journey has passed and new journeys have transpired.

This year, I walk because I was inspired by the many people I spoke with last May 2010 as I listened to their stories and gained a deeper understanding of their struggle, joys and sorrows. I walk for the people that cannot speak but whose stories must be heard, I walk for both those who participate in NAMI and those who work for NAMI, I walk because I support change, growth, healing, and the idea that those that have been through can help those who are going through.

I walk in support of the many professionals, including myself, who dedicate their careers to helping those who hurt, believe in the power of peer to peer support and strive to make a difference in this world.

– Lilly Glass Akoto, co-captain, Providence Pacers