From Oregonhealthauthority.net, May 25, 2011
Oregon State Hospital staff and patients put on their walking shoes to raise awareness about mental illness Sunday, May 22, for the ninth annual NAMI Northwest Walk along Portland’s waterfront. More than 100 hospital employees, patients, family members and friends made up “Team OSH,” raising more than $13,000 for the National Alliance on Mental Health. This was the first time OSH had such a strong presence at the event.
In the adjoining picture, from left to right are Greg Roberts, Superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital, Matthew Kirby, Oregon State Hospital patient and advocate, and Richard Harris, Assistant Director of the Oregon State Addictions and Mental Health Division. Our two cents: this picture would have been unimaginable five years ago.
“Not bad for our first year,” said team captain, chief of medicine Brian Little. OSH had the single most successful fundraising team, even beating the corporate sponsors. “I’m so proud of everyone who turned out to support the important work of NAMI.”
Oregon State Hospital staff and patients raised more than $13,000 for the National Alliance on Mental Health during the ninth annual NAMI Northwest Walk along Portland’s waterfront.
“This is a great example of everyone coming together for a common purpose,” said OSH Superintendent Greg Roberts. “NAMI is one of the hospital’s most important partners, supporting us in our continuing efforts to improve patient care and strengthen our relationship with family members. It’s fitting that we turn around and support them by walking in this event.”
Hospital employees donated their own time to participate. They solicited donations from friends and family to raise money for local support programs including education, research and advocacy involving schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and severe anxiety disorders.
The hospital also made arrangements to ensure patients were a part of the event.
“It’s huge to raise awareness and counter the social stigma faced by people living with mental illness, especially for those of us who are institutionalized,” said Matthew Kirby, a resident of one of the hospital’s transition units. “It’s historic what OSH has done, not only by raising all of this money, but also by facilitating client participation. It’s really indicative of the culture change taking place at the hospital that administration is following through with its promise to promote hope, safety and recovery, as well as wellness and community integration.”
To learn more about the NAMI Northwest Walk and how to support people living with mental illness and their families, visit the NAMI website.