APA leaders and staff braved the cold one morning last October to walk
alongside more than 300 consumers, family members, other psychiatrists, and
mental health professionals during a 5-K walk to raise public awareness of
Washington, D.C.'s Ballou High School sent its marching band, the
Marching Knights, to regale walkers with song and dance before the 5-K
Team APA boasted more than 60 members who registered for the second annual
NAMIWalks D.C.; it was one of 43 teams participating in the
In more than just a symbolic show of unity, APA President Steven
Sharfstein, M.D., and NAMI President Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, M.D., joined a
stream of more than 300 walkers who completed the 5-K NAMIWalks D.C.
The 5-K walk began on the National Mall and followed a picturesque route
past the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin. Registered walkers raised
money to support the programs of the National Alliance on Mental Illness
This year's walk generated about $53,000, according to Kara Sweeney,
M.P.H., regional NAMI-Walks manager.
APA cosponsored the walk and this year donated $5,000. American Psychiatric
Publishing Inc., and the American Psychiatric Foundation each donated $2,500,
for a total of $10,000 from APA and its subsidiaries.
APA President Steven Sharfstein, M.D., called the walk "advocacy at
its best" and told Psychiatric News that "it was a
beautiful day for a walk in recognition of those with mental disorders and the
doctors who treat them."
Eugene Cassel, J.D., director of APA's Division of Advocacy, told
Psychiatric News that through its partnership with NAMI, APA is"
working toward the goal of building a strong, supportive mental health
advocacy community" that will lead to better care for those with mental
NAMI President Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, M.D., rallied walkers with some
words of encouragement and shared with them her experiences of stigma as a
psychiatrist with bipolar disorder (see
NAMI held 50 walks across the country in 2005, which together raised more
than $3 million.
More information about the NAMIWalks program is posted at<www.nami.org>.▪