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Central California Life Magazine

Fresno's NAMI Walks Event Advocates for Mental Health Awareness One Step at a Time

Apr 25, 2017 04:43PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
Each year, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Fresno puts together a fundraising event advocating for mental health awareness, as well as reducing the stigma that tends to surround mental illness. The NAMIWalks Fresno 5k will be held at Woodward Park on May 20th, 2017 this year.

It's NAMI's largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising event in the country and a fun community event that you won't want to miss! 

With each year NAMI Fresno has placed a fundraising goal for the event, and for its 15th anniversary NAMI Fresno hopes to raise $75,000. This walk is all about joining communities together in a movement to raise awareness of mental illness and raise funds for NAMI's mission to help individuals and families right here in our region. 

We got in touch with the Executive Director for NAMI Fresno Chris Roup, who is coordinating this year's event, to learn a little bit more about this important community event. 

Tell us a little bit about the NAMIWalks event. Why is it important?

The NAMIWalks serves two very important purposes.

First, it raises awareness for mental health and helps to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness. The second important purpose of the Walk is help our local affiliate of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, raise funds to help support our programs and supports in our community. We deliver all of classes, support groups and outreach to our community at no cost.

The more we raise, the more we can reach with much needed support!

Can anyone participate?


Anyone and everyone who wants to help make a difference in reducing stigma for mental illness can come out a join us. The event is family friendly and pet friendly. We will have some snacks, games for the kids, entertainment to enjoy, and over 30 community partners with resources about their services they provide to support those needing help, care, and treatment for mental illness/mental health.

What can someone do if they aren't able to make it? 

Great question!

You can always got to our website for the Walk at: to make a general donation.

You can mail a donation to the NAMI Fresno office at 7545 N. Del Mar Ave, #105, Fresno, CA 93711.

You can be a Team Captain and have a virtual team, donating to support us from afar.

Lastly, you could be a sponsor for our Walk. Levels vary. For more info, give me a call at 559-224-2469 or email me at and I can share. 

Is there anything else we should know about the event?

We open registration at 7:30am, at Woodward Park in the Activities area. We will take off at 9am through the start line.

EVERYONE is welcome! 

Visit the NAMIWalks website to learn more about the event. Register today and join the community to improve lives within our communities one step at a time.

Chris Roup with Karen Smith-Maroot from Central California Life Magazine

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Happy Reading,

Karen Maroot