Dozens of people gathered Saturday at Ascarate Park for the 9th Annual NAMIWalks Event.
NAMI, or the National Alliance of Mental Awareness, “is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization,” according to the organization.
Over 100 NAMIWalks events happen nationwide. NAMIWalks is the El Paso affliate’s largest mental health event in the Borderland.”
More than 600 people registered for this year’s event. The theme: not all heroes wear capes.
“We’re out here spreading awareness on mental health and mental health conditions,” said Isidro Torres, NAMI El Paso’s director of outreach and fundraising. “
One in five U.S. adults suffer from mental illness each year.
“It’s really prevalent,” Torres said “We really want to normalize…have these conversations. It’s just another medical condition that we have to do our best to take care of and it’s nothing to be afraid (of).”
Members of the KVIA ABC-7 team attended the event, including Stormtracker Iris Lopez.
Lopez spoke to attendees, encouraging others to have discussions about mental health.
“It’s okay to not feel OK,” said Iris Lopez. “It’s alright to not be alright. The girl on TV giving you the weather is not alright sometimes. I am glad that each and every one of us is able to talk about it.”
Attendees walked around Ascarate Lake with their own intentions in mind. Dozens of information booths from different local organizations were also available.