Second line behind the New Birth Brass Band in Audubon Park Saturday, Oct. 8, to raise awareness about the services and resources available in the New Orleans area for people with mental illness and their families. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) New Orleans is sponsoring NAMI Walks for the Mind of America, a 1.8-mile course that starts at Audubon Park Shelter No. 10 (on Magazine Street across from Audubon Zoo). Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m. New Birth will lead a second line for the entire walk.
The New Orleans event is part of a nationwide fundraising and awareness program, with NAMI Walks for the Mind of America being staged in more than 80 communities across the U.S. NAMI officials say they expect the 2011 walks collectively to raise more than $8 million.
Registration is free, but donations are encouraged (it is a fundraiser, after all). Last year’s inaugural New Orleans walk raised more than $94,000, and all the money raised is used locally for services including housing, case management, drop-in centers, education programs, support groups and psychosocial rehabilitation programs.