Sep 212011

By Deb Frick

Do you face depression and are not sure what to do? Is there a loved one in your family who took his or her life and you feel guilty about it? Or are you a soldier who just got home and might be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder? There’s a national organization that can help. It’s known as NAMI, which stands for National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

 NAMI strives to help people with mental illness. There are over 1,100 chapters across the U.S., and two of them are in the Davenport Diocese: NAMI Scott County IA and NAMI Johnson County. The Scott County office at 1706 N. Brady St., Davenport, has helpful literature, tapes and books that can be checked out and classes that you can take with free materials.

To help with operating expenses, NAMI organizes an annual, two-mile walk called NAMIWalks. Opportunities are available to sponsor a walker or the walk. Individuals are invited to participate in the walk even if they are not sponsoring a walker.

This year, the Scott County chapter’s NAMIWalks takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Rock Island, Ill. It’s the first time for Iowa and Illinois supporters of NAMI to walk on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. Refreshments will be served and some entertainment will be provided. The Johnson County chapter’s walk was held in April.

NAMIWalks is an awareness-raising program of NAMI. There are 83 sites located in 45 states. NAMI seeks to help change the stigma of mental illness. It is reported that one in four adults and one in 10 children experience a mental disorder. Fewer than one-third of adults and half of the children diagnosed with a mental illness receive any mental health services. The money generated through NAMIWalks helps support mental illness advocacy, research, education and support for programs locally and nationally.

For any questions about the walk or to register, go to the website

walks and click on Scott County, IA or call (563) 650-2620.

(Deb Frick, a fourth-grade teacher at All Saints Catholic School in Davenport, organized a NAMIWalks team this year that includes family members and others.)

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