This will be the Alpha Lambda chapter's sixth 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 30 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 to bring awareness to mental health and stop the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Mental health affects everyone, whether you are struggling yourself or know someone who is. Outrace the Stigma brings together the entire community to remind us that no one is fighting alone, but we are in this together to support and uplift one another!"
"I run to help those like so many people close to me who struggle with mental health. Too often, those who are struggling don't get the help that they need. Events like Outrace the Stigma help to combat this by raising awareness of mental health topics and helping anyone who feels isolated to know that they aren't alone. Through this, I hope that everyone can feel seen and supported no matter what they're going through."
"I run to bring awareness to mental health. Mental health is overlooked by many and by doing this run, it brings attention to this extremely important matter that is overlooked by the world. I hope that doing this shows the public that they are NOT alone."
"I run to raise awareness around mental health and the stigma surrounding it. Being someone who has struggled with mental illness, I know how important it is to have a community surrounding you. Outrace the Stigma is a great way to feel the support of the community around you, even when you might not always know they're there."
"I run because I want to end the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage others and myself to make it more of an ongoing and normalized conversation. The more we speak about mental health and raise awareness on it, the more people will feel encouraged and supported enough to reach out for help when they need it, which can save lives."