Mental Health Advocate
2020 NAMIWalks Northern California Honorary Walk Chair
I support NAMIWalks and am proud to be this year’s Honorary Walk Chair because I believe in Mental Health for All.
I lost my son to suicide when he was 25. He started suffering with mental health problems when he was just 13. I know personally how hard it is to get the help your loved-one and your family needs. NAMI can provide that support! Please join me in supporting NAMIWalks Northern California.
Lynda Kaufmann Rodriguez
Director of Government & Public Affairs,
NAMIWalks Northern California 2020 Corporate Chair
I support NAMIWalks and am proud to be this year’s Corporate Chair because I believe in mental health support for all. Support for family members, support for individuals diagnosed with a mental illness, support for board and care facilities, support for providers, and support for advocates. I am personally passionate about providing services in the community.
When traveling to Trieste, Italy in 2006, and touring their mental health system, my number one take away was “give people what they need when they need it”, and by doing that you will improve the lives of all. I speak to hundreds of family members every year, and I always direct them to their local NAMI affiliate. I am confident NAMI will answer their questions, they will be listened to with empathy, and be given relevant information.
A virtual NAMIWalks? Yes. You might have thought we were going down that road — as in a walk without a road — and you would have been right.
NAMIWalks is going to be a little different this year. We’re not canceling it, not when our collective mental health needs are at their greatest.
The NAMIWalks community knows how to think on our feet. Instead of canceling the walk, which would reduce funding when our programs and advocacy are needed more than ever, or even postponing it, we are pleased to announce a walk for our times, NAMIWalks Your Way.
It’s like the regular NAMIWalks, only virtual and with a greater reach: the reach of your imagination, the depth of your compassion. With many NAMIWalks presented at the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, on the same day (May 30), it promises to be a day to remember. With such a united effort, we’re guessing that it will be easier than ever to fundraise, too.
NAMIWalks Your Way means what it sounds like: With so many of our lives compromised and constrained, you get to make NAMIWalks your own. You can walk around your block, you can walk around your garden, you can walk with a wok in your kitchen. If you work from home, now you can walk at home. You can stand on your head. You can a form a team and see who is the funniest, fastest or most artistic. You can “Hula hoop for hope.” You can self-fundraise while you self-quarantine — or do it as part of a team.
Together we’ll continue to work toward our goal of Mental Health for All.