MINNEAPOLIS - Thousands gathered in Minneapolis Saturday for an event designed to raise awareness of mental illness.
The seventh annual 5K NAMIWalks at Minnehaha Falls Park drew 4,000 walkers and 200 teams, despite the rain. Teams crafted custom T-shirts and hats, some of them tied to loved ones who have been diagnosed with such illnesses.
The walk is an effort to fight stereotypes and stigma and raise money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization that provides educational classes and support groups and advocates at the legislature for better mental health services.
NAMIWalks were also held in Rochester and many other cities across the nation on Saturday. The goal was to let people know that mental illness is a very treatable medical condition.
The group says one in four adults and one of every 10 children are affected by a mental illness at any given time. And those diseases cut across all racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic lines.
Allina Mental Health, Cigna and UCare were the top sponsors of NAMIWalks Minnesota, along with more than 50 corporate and individual sponsors.
Those included HealthPartners, Preferred One, Regions Hospital, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, HealthEast Care System, Hennepin County Medical Center, Park Nicollet and others.
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