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Tampa, FL (October 17, 2019) – Mayor Jane Castor will kick off NAMI Hillsborough’s 4th Annual Strides for Mental Health Awareness Run/Walk & Health Fair on Saturday, November 16, 2019, 8:00 am at the University of South Florida.

“When one in five people are living with a mental illness, it’s no longer and individual issue, it’s a community issue,” states Mayor Castor.  “It’s our duty to educate and to advocate for all people affected by mental illness.”

NAMI Hillsborough is the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization.

The Strides Run/Walk will bring together hundreds of Hillsborough County residents to raise money for NAMI’s support groups and signature programs for people living with a mental illness and their families.  The event will also feature an opening ceremony, and a health fair with over 50 health and wellness providers from the Tampa Bay area.

“We wanted to create an event for the entire family, where it was safe to discuss mental health,” states Natasha A. Pierre, NAMI Hillsborough’s Vice President.  “Participants can run, walk, or simply attend the health fair to learn how they can take better care of both their mental and physical health.”

On October 2, 2019, Mayor Castor provided NAMI Hillsborough with a “National Mental Illness Awareness Week” proclamation, and lauded their mental health education and advocacy efforts.  The Mayor’s attendance at the event further evidences her commitment to reducing stigma surrounding mental illness in Hillsborough County.

“Mental health stigma is a significant barrier to treatment for many people,” states Mayor Castor.  “I want my attendance to send a message that Hillsborough County is moving toward becoming a more compassionate city for all.”

Also on hand to make remarks at the event will be Tampa District 7 Councilman Luis Viera.  Many other elected officials have been invited to attend.

Registration for the 4th Annual Strides Run/Walk FREE and open to people of all ages.  Each registered participant will receive a Strides t-shirt, participant bib, and other giveaways.  To register, visit:

Some of NAMI Hillsborough’s community partners include: All In Solutions Counseling Center, Windmoor Healthcare, Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.




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