Health Care

NAMI walk to raise awareness of mental illness

A local nonprofit organization needs your help busting the stigma attached to mental illness.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Beaufort County will host the 2010 NAMIWalks for the Mind of America at 10 a.m. Saturday at Coligny Beach on Hilton Head Island. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.

"Besides trying to raise money, the intent is to help provide visibility into mental illness in terms of understanding and as we call it 'busting the stigma,'<2009>" NAMI Beaufort County Board President Dick Males said. "Mental illness is a disease like any other. It's something no one chooses to have. Like cancer or heart disease, it just happens to people."

NAMIWalks participants may walk by themselves, join teams or form their own teams. NAMI encourages those who cannot walk to donate money to help cover the cost of programs offered to individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Walkers are invited to enjoy a free breakfast before the walk and lunch afterward. The Islandeers will entertain the crowd widies and classic beach music. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina and several area businesses and individuals are sponsoring this year's event.

To sign up for the walk, donate money, volunteer, become a member or receive more information on NAMI Beaufort County, call 843-681-2200 or go to