Why I Walk: Community - National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City , Inc.

Why I Walk: Community

Mental health is a critical component of overall well-being, yet it often remains overlooked. “We prioritize physical health with doctor’s appointments and medication, but we tend to neglect our mental health,” Kalimah said. “This neglect can lead to more significant health issues, which I experienced personally.” 

When Kalimah experienced her hospitalization, her sister signed up for a family support group to gain a deeper understanding of Kalimah’s mental health challenges. Through this program, Kalimah’s family found valuable support and knowledge. “They felt hopeless and didn’t know how to help me,” she recalled. “NAMI-NYC offered my family the support and knowledge they needed, and I want to ensure that this invaluable resource remains accessible to all who need it.” 

Kalimah was just recovering from her hospitalization, when her sister told her about NAMIWalks NYC + Mental Health Street Fest. She was reluctant, unsure of what to expect. “The energy was incredibly positive,” Kalimah said. “People were sharing their stories on stage, and it felt like a community. I saw people who looked just like me, and I realized that mental health challenges are not something to be ashamed of or hidden.” 

For Kalimah, the walk was a transformative experience that shifted her perspective on mental health. “Prior to the walk, I viewed my mental health challenges as something shameful,” she said. “But attending the walk and seeing so many people supporting such a great cause made me realize that mental health is something to be learned about and shared with others.” 

Kalimah expresses her gratitude for the opportunity to give back to NAMI-NYC and support its mission. “I look forward to continuing to support NAMI-NYC,” she said. “It’s a rewarding feeling to contribute to an organization that provides essential support and resources to those in need.” 

For Kalimah, NAMIWalks NYC + Mental Health Street Fest is a celebration of community, resilience, and mental health awareness. Join us on Sunday, May 19: www.namiwalksnyc.org.