The hip hop legend, bookwright and mental health activist, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was recently appointed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of the New York Metropolitan area as the Grand Marshal of the agency as the 11th annual NAMIwalks NYC.
The NAMIwalks annual occasion is the largest mental health fundraising and promoter in the entire country, and which has over 5,000 attendees participating to discourage unfair treatment of people with mental related infirmities and to ultimately raise funds to support such people.
According to the Interim Executive Director of the NAMI NYC-Metro, every May of the year, has been appointed as the Mental Health Awareness Month, while the 13th of May of every year host the NAMIWalks event. The NAMIWalks NYC began about eleven years ago, with a little of one thousand supporters, but as at 2016, the numbers of supporters and attendees have grown to over 5,000 and over $600,000 have been raised to finance many mental health diagnosis programs. The Executive Director further stressed that the goal of the agency is to increase these funds with the aim of rendering continuous free classes and support various groups that are creating an environment devoid of health stigma and discrimination. Customarily, the yearly NAMIWalks exercise often kick start at the South Street Seaport Promenade with teeming participant ready to tour over the Brooklyn Bridge and back, and also celebrate the completion with post-walk wellness activities ranging from free massage to yoga, basic health screenings, raffle prizes and so on.
Before this time, Chirlane McCray; the First Lady of New York City and the mental health advocate Jaclyn Stapp have had the liberty of gracing the occasion as Grand Marshals, while famous rock bands, Boola and Controller have performed in the delightful occasion. As earlier noted, NAMIWalks NYC supports individuals in the society with the mental related ailment and also facilitates to wipe out every form of social stigma such individuals are confronted with in the community, while funds realized from the NAMIWalks exercise are used to support and initiate programs to educate thousands of people in the city. Such programs include; four signature, multi-week psycho-education courses; bi-monthly public education events with leading experts. Altogether there are about 20 groups supporting and caring for people with mental illness diagnosis.