This is Omega Phi Alpha's third mental health awareness run benefiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Outrace the Stigma began in 2017 to raise awareness about mental health and the resources available at North Carolina State University and the greater Triangle area.
NAMI is a non-profit that raises awareness and provides essential education, advocacy, and support groups at no cost for people living with mental illness and their loved ones. NAMI addresses the mental health needs of our community, replaces stigma with understanding, and helps thousands of families and individuals each year.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States, or 43.8 million adults, experience mental illness in a given year.
Omega Phi Alpha is a national service sorority with 29 chapters across the United States. Omega Phi Alpha's motto is "Today's friends, tomorrow's leaders, forever in service". Our permanent project has been mental health since 1971, chosen by our late National President Susan Terzian. This project is extremely important to our chapter, and we are focusing on bringing awareness around the issue of mental health in the greater Raleigh area.
Why do we run?
Awareness around mental health is important to the sisters of Omega Phi Alpha for many reasons. To show you why we are so passionate about this cause, we collected some responses from our sisters about why they choose to participate in this race.
"I run to bring light to the ever so important topic of mental health! Mental health is a top priority for me and I by running, I hope to help others see the importance of it. Mental health is just as important as physical health and by outracing the stigma, we can shine a light on an aspect of health that is often neglected!"
" I run because I have seen my friends and myself all suffer from mental illness. I want a future full of accessible mental health resources and normalizing the discussion around mental health!"
"I run because I want to spread the importance of mental wellness! It's so crucial that we remember to check in every so often with friends and family and even ourselves. Running brings me joy and I'm racing to lift up others so they can find it too! "
"I run to make everyone more aware of mental health. While so much is out there on the importance of keeping up with your physical well being, we often neglect that keeping up with your mental health is just as important. Mental health affects everyone so I believe that it is necessary to outrace the stigma of mental health."