Two hundred Vinfen staff, people we serve, family members, and friends broke out their Vinfen t-shirts and participated in the 2019 NAMIWalks Massachusetts. The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI Mass) event was held on May 11 in Artesani Park in Brighton, MA.
A diverse group of people from Vinfen attended, including the Metro Boston Self-Advocacy Group, Clubhouse members, Peer Specialists, and Outreach Workers. In addition, Vinfen staff manned several information tables where people could learn more about Vinfen’s services or catch up with other Vinfen supporters. “I found this year’s NAMIWalks Massachusetts to be especially fun because so many first-time, new staff from Fall River to Methuen participated!” said Vinfen Clinical Services Director Sharon Barry. “It’s always enjoyable to spend a sun-filled Saturday with both the people we serve and colleagues.”
Program Director Janel Tan agreed with Sharon’s sentiments. “The event is a great way to get motivated to exercise, as we walk and enjoy the company of others,” said Janel. “Our Recovery Learning Center community had a chance to spend time with each other, as well as reconnect with people whom we hadn’t seen in a while. We enjoyed a day of fresh air, fun, connection, and conversation!”
Vinfen joined thousands who were from numerous mental health organizations from across the state. Everyone came together to show their support as well as enjoy the nice, sunny weather. The yearly event promotes awareness, educates the general public, and raises funds for NAMI Mass’ many programs, support groups, and grassroots advocacy. The walk celebrated its 16th year. NAMI Mass Deputy Director Karen Gromis welcomed walkers and thanked them for their support. Before the walk started, people with lived experience shared their recovery journeys to inspire and motivate the crowd. “What the NAMIWalks Massachusetts means to me is about bringing awareness to the public about the importance of mental health.” said Director of Service Asela Jayasinghe. “That’s why I love being a part of it.”
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