More than $60,000 was raised at the annual NAMIWalks Grand Rapids event hosted at Davenport University on Saturday. More than 400 people attended the event.
“The Davenport family came out in force,” said Karen Daley, Dean of the College of Health Professions. “According to NAMI, one in five college students face a mental health condition. In addition, 75 percent of mental illnesses emerge before age 24, making college age students especially vulnerable to stress, depression and anxiety.”
Active Minds, a student organization at DU, actively works on campus to change the conversation about mental illness by promoting mental health awareness and a stigma free environment, Daley said.
This is the second year that the event took place at the W.A. Lettinga Campus.
“This event is widely supported by the community and many of the sponsors also place our students for practicums and hire them after they graduate,” Daley said.
Team Adam — led by Lindsey Shull, Regional Practicum Manager for the DU Office of Experiential Learning and College of Health Professions — raised more than $1,300. The team is named in honor of her son, Adam Halperin, who experienced a lifetime of struggles with depression, social anxiety and borderline personality disorder. Adam passed away in 2015.
“This walk allowed me to honor Adam and demonstrate the need for awareness and treatment of the millions of people who experience mental illness,” Shull said.
“It may be you or someone you love so please seek care for yourself or other with a professional. It is a bio-physical condition and there is no more shame involved than if you had cancer. My life is changed forever. There isn’t a day, even after two years, I don’t think of Adam and cry. It may be for just a moment or so, but my heart is forever broken.”
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness and NAMIWalks is the nation’s largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising event.