Yakima NAMIWalk raises funds for mental health resources

YAKIMA, Wash — Across the state Saturday, people took a walk with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to help fund free mental health programs.

In correlation with the NAMIWalks Your Way virtual event in Washington, the Yakima County NAMI affiliate hosted its own event at Franklin Park.

Through participation in the event, the organization raised over $4,000 in donations, which will go toward helping them provide support groups, educational classes, and other resources for those struggling with mental illness and their loved ones.

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NAMI Yakima board member Rocio Carrion said she really wanted to bring a NAMIWalk event to her hometown.

In addition to a celebratory walk around the park’s perimeter, the event included a resource fair and other opportunities for attendees to connect.

Carrion invited representatives from several local mental health organizations, such as the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic, Comprehensive Health, and Neighborhood Health, to talk about their programming.

Carrion got involved with NAMI after a loved one of hers was hospitalized because of bipolar disorder. Through that experience, she said she discovered the importance of spreading awareness about mental health.

“It’s really hard for the people that need the help to get help,” Carrion said. “What we bring [at NAMI] is hope to these individuals and to their families, so that the more support people have, the more we’re able to help each other as a community.”

If you’re interested in learning more about NAMI Yakima and its mission, you can find that information here.