Why I Walk

WhyIWalkOur annual Walk is more than just a fundraiser, it’s an opportunity for more than 1,800 people to gather together and end the silence of mental health in our community. By sharing our stories and reasons for walking, we help change the mental health conversation in our community. We’ve invited our 2016 NAMIWalks team captains and walkers to share their “why.” Click here to #JoinTheMovement that’s changing the way our community addresses mental health!


If you’d like to share your “why” or have questions about signing up to #JoinTheMovement as a Walker or Team Captain, contact Laura Howard at laura [dot] howard [at] namiaustin [dot] org.


Anne grady WIW pic

“I began walking for my son, Evan. Then I realized how many people are impacted by this illness. Yet the stigma remains. I walk to show support for the millions of people affected by this illness. I walk to reduce the stigma. I walk because it is one of the best ways for me to show my support for an organization that has truly changed my life.”

Anne is our NAMIWalks Austin Business Chair, and she is a long time supporter of NAMI Austin. You can visit Anne’s fundraising page here.


Rosemary cropped

“I walk because the Family-to-Family class brought me out of the darkness and into the bright light of knowledge and acceptance. I accepted the fact that it wasn’t my fault and that I could do things to help my son. I learned that I wasn’t alone – a bond was made with strangers in my class because almost losing your child does not compare with anything else in the world. Thank God that my son survived and is flourishing. I survived too, but not without the help from NAMI Austin.”

Rosemary was Walk Manager for NAMIWalks Austin 2014, and she is currently Administrative Assistant at NAMI Austin. We love having her on staff! You can find out more about Rosemary here and visit her fundraising page here.


Anna ReedI walk because I believe that erasing the stigma is key to recovery. Having bipolar disorder is not something I like to talk about but I have worked to get to the other side of the darkness. I still do. I am living proof that not only can it happen but it does happen.  Life doesn’t stop because you have a mental illness. I walk because all of us need support.”

Anna is a NAMIWalks Austin veteran with four walks under her belt, and she’s set a personal goal of $1,000. Thank you, Anna! You can find out more about Anna here and you can also visit her fundraising page.


Lexi Losch photo“I am walking for myself; for all of the reasons I struggle with anxiety. I’m walking as a way to connect myself with the Austin community as I learn more as a counseling student. I’m walking as a representation of all my friends and family who struggle with mental health but never found their own voice to share their story. I’m walking so my children will never be afraid to talk about mental health when they’re older. I’m walking to take the stigma out of mental illness.”

This is Lexi’s first NAMIWalks, and she’s currently our lead fundraiser. Thank you, Lexi! You can find out more about Lexi here and you can also visit her fundraising page.