It's that wonderful time of year again! The NAMI Central Texas Walk is fast approaching, September 28th! You might have heard...or even been witness to my somewhat competitive nature. There is no question that I like to win and because of all my awesome friends, we have raised a lot of money for NAMI Central Texas. No doubt I was happy to place in the top 3 fundraisers last year but this year, I am determined to take the crown! With your continued support, I know we can do it.
As competitive as I am, I am even more passionate about NAMI and mental health. We not only need to talk about mental health, we have to transform how we talk about it and address it in our community. I walk to remove the stigma. I walk to raise awareness. I walk to change the conversation. I walk for all of those who have struggled, who are struggling and who will struggle in the future. We are all in this together.
When I decided to run for Sheriff and now as your Sheriff, mental health was one of the areas of focus. Not only have we raised thousands of dollars for NAMI, we have partnered with them on training classes for our Corrections Officers and Deputies and have started a course for friends and families of individuals who are incarcerated to learn the best engagement practices. This training has shown us big, positive results.
However, the majority of those who struggle with mental health issues are not incarcerated. Many of those who struggle are our coworkers, our family, our friends. We need to start sharing the positive stories of overcoming, continuing to come out of the darkness and into the light. This walk helps us do that. We're redefining success of overcoming mental illness by telling our stories.
I'm actively working alongside other community leaders, to dispel the stigma and move mental health issues forward. Below is a link to an Austin Chronicle highlighting our work.