This will be the Alpha Lambda chapter's fifth annual mental health awareness run for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Outrace the Stigma began in 2017 to raise awareness for mental health and the resources available at North Carolina State University and the greater Triangle area.
NAMI is a non-profit organization 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 surrounding 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 because I personally know how debilitating mental illnesses can be, and I hope that awareness events like Outrace the Stigma show more people that they’re not alone in their mental health struggles. I want to decrease the stigma surrounding mental illnesses so that everyone has access to supportive resources and treatment!"
"I run to bring light to the ever so important topic of mental health! Mental health is a top priority for me and 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 want to beat the stigma surrounding mental health. I run to help spread awareness about the importance of mental health so that someone struggling may feel comfortable enough to seek help. Mental health is personal because people I care about deeply, as well as myself, have struggled with it. This race is for us!"
"I run to quite literally outrace the stigma surrounding mental health. I have personally struggled over the years with my own mental illness, and I have learned how to build a relationship with my mental health. It is my hope that by raising awareness for mental health others will be able to build a better relationship with their mental health as well."
"I run because I believe acknowledging the stigma surrounding mental health is just as important as education on mental health as well. Being someone with people close to me effected by mental health, I feel a sense of responsibility in acknowledging and educating others on the widespread stigmas surrounding mental health!"