NAMI Utah Fights Mental Health Stigma With Annual NAMIWalks Your Way Fundraiser

May 21, 2021, 3:29 PM | Updated: 3:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Making mental health a priority, especially during such a challenging year, has never been more important. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah is hosting their 18th annual NAMIWalk Your Way fundraiser Saturday, May 22 to break the stigma around mental illness and to improve the lives of those who live with mental illness by helping them know they are not alone.

This walk will be held virtually this year with the option for participants to walk on their own or join online events like group cardio and yoga classes.

62-year-old Peter Cornish of Murray is grateful he connected with NAMI years ago. He’s dealt with chronic depression for more than half his life. When he was in his late 20s, he started becoming more anxious and had trouble sleeping and concentrating. He was working an incredibly stressful job in computer software at the time.

He finally broke down during a doctor’s appointment on an unrelated issue when he was referred to a psychologist for the first time.

“When you’re depressed everything is grey, everything is tough,” he explained. “My self-worth just disappears.”

NAMI offers peer-to-peer support groups for those who are struggling with their mental health in addition to the caretakers and family members of those affected. “All the people that suffer and all the people supporting people that suffer – we’re all on a walk, you know, a lifetime walk,” he said.

Cornish said his connection to others who also struggle with mental illness has been essential to his overall well-being. Through peer-to-peer support groups, which he now facilitates, he found a sense of identity knowing he’s not alone.

“The illness is very difficult in that I feel like I’m crazy and that no one understands me, and with NAMI, we all have different experiences but we share some things in common and that’s, I think, the biggest part about it is being around others that you can relate to,” Cornish said.

Cornish has also relied on medication, talk and electroconvulsive therapy, journaling, exercise, meditation, and the companionship of his wife, Ann, kids, and sweet dog, Nala.

Peter Cornish has dealt with chronic depression for more than half of his life. He’s grateful he connected with NAMI years ago because of the support group he’s found with others who all live with mental illness. He and his wife are walking in this weekend’s 18th Annual NAMIWalk Your Way fundraiser to break the stigma on mental illness and help others who are suffering get the help they need. (KSL TV)

He recognizes his illness probably won’t be cured, but he’s learned how to cope and find the good in life.

“I am probably going to be on meds my whole life and I will have more depressive episodes, but I can manage it,” he said.

Cornish urged others to reach out for the help they need. For him, it’s been life-changing.

“When you come out of depression, life is just that much more beautiful. You can see colors, you can smell smells, you can feel the love,” he described.

Cornish invites anyone who is seeking help to participate in the walk Saturday and connect with others who also understand. The funds raised will go towards free mentoring, support groups, peer-to-peer courses, and suicide prevention efforts.

Anyone can register for free here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Healthy Mind Matters

Tamara Vaifanua

Salt Lake Co. offers workshop for teens struggling with body image

For the first time, Salt Lake County Youth Services is offering a free workshop for teens who struggle with body image issues.
5 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Rascon

KSL+ One man’s heart-shaped mission to prevent suicide

Mental health challenges continue across the state. This week, the story of one man’s mission to prevent suicide with reminders that people matter.
12 days ago
Ayanna Likens

You can call or text new mental health resource (988)

The nation’s newest mental health resource isn’t just a phone call service – you can text it, too.
25 days ago
The number for the national suicide prevention hotline, 988....
Ayanna Likens

Utah’s connection to a national 3-digit suicide prevention hotline

It will soon be easier than ever to connect with mental health professionals across the country during a crisis as the three-digit phone number, 988, launches this Saturday.
27 days ago
Posters at the Department of Health and Human Services offers advice on preventing and getting over...
Jed Boal

How community postvention tool kit helps communities after a suicide

How our communities respond after a suicide death matters and that's why the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition created an online tool kit to help.
1 month ago
LGBTQ teens at an Encircle activity....
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Parents’ support key to mental health among LGBTQ+ youth, experts say

Nearly 20 percent of adults in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. In the LGBTQ+ community, that number is three times higher. Experts say family support is crucial to an adolescents’ mental health.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
NAMI Utah Fights Mental Health Stigma With Annual NAMIWalks Your Way Fundraiser