Fall is nearly here, and that means it’s Stomp season!
Register now for NAMI Whatcom’s 2023 Stigma Stomp, a fun run/walk for mental health in our community of Bellingham, Wash. This event will take place Saturday, Oct. 7 at Bloedel Donovan Park in the Silver Beach neighborhood, and will also include an info fair, free snacks and plenty of laughter and camaraderie to go around!
NAMI Whatcom uses the proceeds from the Stigma Stomp to continue their work of offering free programs for people living with mental illness and their friends and families. Last year they raised more than $13K, which goes toward things like community presentations, classes and support groups.
NAMI Whatcom recently introduced a new support group for dual diagnosis, which is the combination of substance use disorder and mental health condition. This is a pressing issue in our community and one we learned more about earlier this year.
This will be the ninth year for the Stigma Stomp, and the third year our business has been a sponsor. It’s always a joy to get out on an early October day and take in the sights and sounds of Bloedel Donovan Park.
The Stomp begins with everyone arriving and gathering around the park’s main field and parking lot, where you can get signed in and claim your T-shirt if you preordered one. Then there will be speeches by an event organizer and a community leader, such as a member of the city council. Then everyone cheers and starts walking the trail at their own pace.
Along the route there are chalk markers, signs and volunteers directing people and helping everyone stay on track for the 2.2 mile loop. Even if you take it easy for most of the walk, there is a tradition of speeding up a little to cross the finish line to a round of cheers and high fives!
If the weather is good, many participants can be found gathering afterward to check out the info fair and have a cookie or granola bar, a bottle of water and some friendly conversation. One of the best parts of the Stigma Stomp is seeing how many people care about mental health.
Some of us Stomp because we either live with mental illness, or step up to support friends and family in their mental health journeys. After all, openly discussing what can sometimes be a taboo topic is the best way to stomp out stigma!
Cute But Crazy Socks is also dedicated to starting conversations about mental health through our “crazy” socks. We set out to use “crazy” in a way that is powerful, positive, affirming and full of the color and joy that make life (and socks) fun. We hope that by reclaiming the word "crazy," we can help remove the stigma and take away its power to harm. As part of our mission, we donate 1% of all product sales to support mental health.
If you’re interested in getting together with a group of people passionate about mental health, check out Stigma Stomp this year. Feel free to join the Cute But Crazy Socks team if you want someone to walk with — just look for the group in the fun socks!