In their effort to shine a light on issues surrounding mental illness, NAMIWalks organizers hope to bring greater public knowledge to a very private issue. Saturday, Sept. 28, as many as seven hundred citizens, advocates, care givers, and Idaho businesses are expected to take part in supporting NAMIWalks Boise.
Liza Long, known for her often-controversial blog, aptly named “The Anarchist Soccer Mom” is scheduled to be the event's guest speaker, just prior to the walk at 9:40 a.m. following a proclamation from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Long wrote about her struggles with raising a child with mental illness. Her blog entitled “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” attained national attention and led to her appearance on NBC's Today Show. This past summer, Long and her son were subjects of a StoryCorps conversation on National Public Radio. An advocate for change, Long is a single mother, saying she believes the rhetoric of mental illness is flawed while the care and treatment continue to be, often times, inadequate.
NAMI Boise means to offer free “NAMI Signature” classes, designed to help families and individuals who might otherwise not seek or be able to afford help with a mental illness diagnosis, support, and/or treatment.
Social stigmas facing mental illness, seen by some as an unfortunate or inconvenient human defect rather than as a societal issue, continue to reinforce a collective interpretation that may neglect the individuals that most need our help. Mental illness isn’t something to obscure in deliberation rather than action. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, that affect approximately 1 in 4 American adults who suffer from a diagnosable mental illness every year.