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Every year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, known locally as NAMI North Texas, brings together thousands of people to raise mental health awareness and funds through NAMIWalks North Texas. This year presents new challenges, so NAMIWalks is “going virtual.” On Saturday, May 30, NAMI North Texas will participate in NAMIWalks Your Way: A National Day of Hope. Locally, this will be led by our honorary walk co-chairs, Kevin Hageland from The K&C Masterpiece and Jeff Cavanaugh from Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan. Both experience mental health struggles and are making it their mission to raise mental health awareness.

Instead of walking a 5K together at the annual walk site, Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, participants will choose an activity of their choice and join virtually with 33 other NAMIWalks and hundreds of thousands of mental health advocates from across the country.

People across North Texas will be walking 3,500 steps, planning a craft day with their kids, holding a virtual bake-off with their team, practicing self-care with a favorite hobby such as gardening and knitting, taking the morning to mediate and practice yoga, riding a stationary bike, hosting a virtual paint and sip party, hiking, hosting a virtual movie day on Netflix, and creating a virtual talent show on Zoom with family and friends. They will share their activities on social media and follow NAMI North Texas’s livestreaming that begins on Saturday, May 30 at 10:30 a.m. The two-hour program includes mental health facts and participant activities. It will also include appearances by the honorary chairs, former Dallas Cowboys player and NAMI North Texas Board Member Timmy Newsome, music from Tony Award-Winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen, a performance by former American Idol contestant Trevor Douglas, Eric Nadel (the Hall of Fame voice of the Texas Rangers), and a performance from The Lost & Found Initiative.

“One in five adults experience mental illness, but it touches five in five people either directly or indirectly,” according to Dr. Athena Trentin, Executive Director of NAMI North Texas. “Now more than ever, our communities need to come together to raise awareness and let people know they are not alone.”

To join NAMIWalks Your Way, visit namiwalks.org/northtexas. There is no registration fee, but fundraising is encouraged. Funds raised support NAMI North Texas’s free local mental health programs and services.

“This year we are already seeing an increased demand for mental health services,” adds Dr. Trentin. “Our walk slogan ‘mental health for all’ has never been truer.”  

NAMIWalks is supported across the country by National Lead Sponsor, Alkermes, and National Partner, Takeda Lundbeck. The local title sponsor is Salience TMS Neuro Solutions.

NAMI North Texas is part of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. For more information on the local chapter, visit naminorthtexas.org.