With such a short amount of time to the walk, we want to share some of the best quotes from our supporters, those people who were kind enough to tell us “Why I walk”.

On May 17th, we walk to give our thanks to NAMI for the support they have given us. We walk to help others have a brighter future. We walk because we care. -Sydney Lizundia

In a grateful tribute to her (my daughter’s) courage, I walk. It is the least, but not the only thing, I can do. –Linda Dunn

Like many other people living with mental illness, (my friend) Ward was treated as a throwaway person. I’m walking because this needs to change, and to make the statement that people like myself who are living with mental illness are members of the community, like everyone else; that we are not and should not be stigmatized and that we deserve equal access to healthcare and recovery. –Michelle Madison

I walk because I know I am moving in the right direction and because I know that others deserve the same opportunity to reach their dreams.  I walk because I believe that every person, given the proper support and care, has the ability to thrive. -Jillian Glazer

(My daughter) Tessa is my inspiration.  I am thankful she is still alive, because for a while I was not sure she would make it to her thirtieth birthday this year. Her illness has prompted me to become involved and tell our story. – Michele Veenker

Last fall, my son Tony would have turned 36 years old. To honor his memory and to support others that suffer diseases similar to what he had, my wife and I again this year walk on “His” team and work to raise funds to support NAMI-CC (Clackamas County Oregon). -Mark Anderson

I want to help in a small way, to endorse, support, and grow with my peers at NAMI. I also walk raise funds for our In Our Own Voice and Peer to Peer programs, where I mentor and give presentations. And the exercises and walk are helpful in just everyday life. I hope this is the start of an energetic adventure I can do yearly. – George Hagerman

It is a dream of mine to be able to give back what has been given to me and enrich my life in the process.  This is why I walk for NAMI.  I now know that I have a voice, focus on the gifts that my disability offers and share my experience to give hope to others and pursue my dreams without ever giving up.  This year I am walking in honor of my mom, children, grandchildren, and the rest of my wonderful family, as well as friends who have never given up on me. – Susan Greenawald

I walk for this sweet wonderful woman who showed me what mental illness can feel like. – Susan Ayres

I have spent most of my life watching a family member suffer from mental health issues. Now that I have a daughter with severe anxiety, I celebrate her successes and share her pain at the struggles she faces. I walk so she knows I’ve got her back and so others like me – with a loved one who suffers – and people like her – who win and lose battles every day – know they aren’t alone. –Rachel Petzold

I walk with NAMI so that others may find help without the terror I felt. I walk so that others don’t have to fight as many fights. I walk to make this country a better place for those of us with a mental illness. -Curtis


PICT0077Hello NAMI supporters!

With just 9 days left until the walk, now is the time to make that final fundraising push. When asking friends, family, coworkers, and others, here’s a snapshot of what their contribution can do to help and give hope:

– $25 will cover our costs to pay for a free education class for one person with mental illness, or their loved one;

– $30 will pay the stipend for a consumer to make an In Our Own Voice presentation, which educates consumers and supporters about recovery;

– $50 will cover the cost to train a volunteer to teach an education class, which participants have described as “life-changing” and “life-saving.”

– $250 will cover the cost of a class of 10 people taking a Family To Family class, which provides support and affirmation for people whose loved ones are living with a major mental illness.

Thanks for all that you are doing for NAMI!

Michelle Madison, Walk Manager

My husband of 47 years has had bipolar disorder since he was a teenager. Despite battling this disabling brain disorder for over a half century, Paul has accomplished many things, but he has also had times when he has been very  ill and never more so than from 2002 to 2007.  His doctors termed it treatment resistant depression and his prospects for recovery were very slim.

In May of 2007, the NAMI Washington County newsletter published a summary on the latest research from the National Institute of Mental Health on bipolar depression. This information ultimately led to Paul’s doctor charting a new path of treatment and medications for Paul. Within 3 days of new medications, Paul was out of bed and began his upward journey to recovery.

Today, two years later, Paul volunteers for two libraries and for NAMI, and has become a member of a NAMI Outreach Team that speaks to patients in the behavioral (mental health) ward at St. Vincent Hospital. When Paul tells his riveting story, there is not a sound or a dry-eye in the audience. Afterwards, patients come up to shake his hand and thank him for his inspiration. For you see, Paul has been where they are and he is proof positive that you can recover and become a contributing member of society again. We call it the Journey of Hope.

On May 17th, we walk to give our thanks to NAMI for the support they have given us. We walk to help others have a brighter future. We walk because we care. -Sydney Lizundia

We are excited to be less than 3 weeks to walk day! Because there are a lot of little questions that come up, we are adding a new page to our blog – a Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQ) page.

Check it out for simple answers to a lot of the questions that come up. Thanks for visiting!

Click the tab above or follow the link to the new Walk FAQ page.

There are many reasons why I walk. I walk for my daughter who valiantly struggles daily with her bi-polar disorder. It would be beneficial for her to have a job to go to, it would aid in her recovery, but her Medicaid benefits would go away. That would leave her without the medications that help her win those battles. She would go away to jail or a hospital and the illness would win for a while.

I walk for the wonderful nurse practitioner that I spoke with yesterday. She’s looking for ways to help her indigent clients remain on their medications. The county mental health clinic where she works is facing a 30% reduction in their funding. The case managers know what will happen when they can no longer see the clients that will be cut. They will go away. Where do they go?

I walk for the young man in the waiting room with the fear in his eyes. He doesn’t understand what’s happening to him, he can’t make it stop. He doesn’t have a job, or insurance or anyone to help him. Will he have to go away?

I walk because I sat in my county commissioner’s office and they told me that there wasn’t any money to educate the officers in the jail where my daughter was beaten for being mentally ill. I was not the first person to sit in that chair with that story. They said they understand, their hands are tied, they will do all they can. Their eyes said “please go away”.

I walk because we’re told that there isn’t any money in a county to help people that need it. Mysteriously $500,000.00 is found to buy a sign. How many people will the sign help? Will it keep them medicated if they look long enough at it? How could a sign ever be more important than a person, let alone the many people that money would help? I walk because currently people with mental illness that depend on the government for help are not getting what they need and deserve, in July they will get 30% less. Where will that 30% come from? Who will have to go away and where will they go?

It costs roughly $175.00 a day to put someone in a jail cell. It costs $638.00 a day to hospitalize someone in a psychiatric bed. The average cost of giving people access to their medications ranges from $5.00 to $30.00 a day. Where is the savings in taking away their freedom and putting them away? Would anybody be able to run a household with these kinds of decisions, let alone a city, county or state?

I walk because there is strength in numbers. The people making the decisions on how to spend our money need to see the numbers. They need to understand the numbers of people that they are affecting. They need to understand how their costs saving decisions waste both money and lives. They need to see the number of people that might just decide to put someone in their chair that pays attention to those kinds of numbers.

Please join me.
Kim Schneiderman

116 teams, $76,000, and counting! We have reached more than a third of our goal, which is a great testament to the work you’ve all been doing! This is the time of “walk season” when the bulk of the walkers and dollars come in.

Also, consider this your official call for volunteers! We need people to help on walk day with set up, break down, clean up, decorations, registration, etc. Please e-mail me if you can help.

Thanks so much!
Michelle Madison, Walk Manager

Dear friends,

Yesterday I went to a memorial service for a young man who was dually diagnosed and never had access to proper mental health services. It was a compelling reminder of why we are doing this event – to raise awareness and hopefully prevent people in our community from becoming statistics.

NAMI Oregon and our affiliates in Oregon and Southwest Washington are lobbying hard against mental health funding cuts, as well as providing resources for people living with mental illness and our loved ones. Your efforts – donating your time, your funds, and getting friends, family members, and others involved – are so important!

Thank you for all that you do.
-Michelle Madison, Walk Manager

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