FHR Virginia walks to fight stigma at local NAMI event

Published 10/05/2011
From left to right: ISLS members Miguel and James, ISLS staff member Eli Dobek, and Mental Health Counselor Sarah James at the NAMI Walkathon event.

Members and staff raise over $1,100 for NAMI Walkathon in Virginia

Vienna, VA – October 5, 2011 – Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. (FHR) in Virginia participated in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Walkathon at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens this past weekend.

As a national initiative, NAMI Walkathons aim to fight stigma surrounding mental illness and to raise awareness about improvements necessary in the mental health system. Walkathons raise funds for NAMI to continue their mission of educating, supporting, and advocating mental illnesses nationwide.

FHR’s Independent Supported Living Services (ISLS) Program, ACCESS Program, and Intensive Community Residential Treatment (ICRT) Program in Virginia worked in unison to create a team to participate in the annual walk. Despite the rain and cold, nine members and staff showed up to walk in support of NAMI. Fourteen total program members and staff participated in the walk and/or raised donations over the past few months.

One ISLS member volunteered at the NAMI registration day in addition to participating in the walk. James Z., another ISLS member, attended the walk with staff. “This was such a fun day, and I am so glad staff convinced me to come,” James said. “The staff at Fellowship is always so good to me.”

The FHR team was lead by staff member, Sarah James. “This took several months of planning and hard work; I am excited to see the product of all that work today,” James said. “I am very proud of all the staff members who helped raise donations and supported my efforts with NAMI. FHR has proven today that multiple programs can unite for one cause dedicated to helping the mentally ill population in any way that we can.”

As of the walk, five staff members collectively raised $1,140 in donations for NAMI. FHR President/CEO, Joseph Dziobek, also donated towards the Virginia team and thanked the team for their initiative. Out of 26 participating teams, FHR placed seventh in the amount of donations raised and eighth in the amount of team members. Donations can still be submitted for the FHR Virginia team at www.nami.org/namiwalks11/nva/fellowshiphr.

For more information about upcoming events in Virginia, contact Larry Ferguson at 703-979-5077.