Compeer NAMI Walks team invites you to understand recovery

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the “NAMI Walks For The Minds of America” will be held at Voinovich Park. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the NAMI Walk begins at 10 a.m.

This event has two activities: a 2.5-mile walk around downtown Cleveland and a party at Voinovich Park. The walk route is secured by police and provides a great way to site see downtown. The party at Voinovich Park includes various company sponsor tents and live music. Dogs with leashes are welcome to join walkers.

The Compeer Program at Far West Center will be participating in the NAMI Walks event. Our program has a walk team named “Compeer Club West.” If you are interested in joining our walk team please go to our team webpage at: If you are interested in donating to NAMI Greater Cleveland on behalf of Westlake’s own Compeer Club West team please go to the same webpage. One hundred percent of donations go to NAMI Greater Cleveland.

This annual NAMI event is held in order to raise public awareness about mental illness, mental health services, and recovery. NAMI Greater Cleveland, a non-profit organization, works to provide educational and support groups at no fee to citizens of Cleveland and all surrounding suburbs. Westlake has had a NAMI Family Support Group meeting at Far West Center for many years. This past spring, a NAMI “Hearts and Minds” Wellness Program opened to adults managing mental illness. "Hearts and Minds” is sponsored by Compeer and also held at Far West Center. Both the Family Support Group and Hearts and Minds are offered on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. For more information, call 440-835-6212 or visit

Decades ago no one ever used the term “recovery" when discussing mental illness. Unfortunately during those times, appropriate and effective psychiatric medications did not yet exist. The good news is that over the past five decades research has lead to the creation of modern psychiatric medication that is a great deal better for both mind and body. Today a majority of mental health consumers can work with their doctors on finding the best medication treatment for them. 

As a mental health services worker with various positions, I have seen large-scale improvements in psychiatric medication from the 1980s to today. Adults managing mental illness report less sedation, fewer side effects and are active in planning more personal goals of recovery. One way to describe recovery is to say it is when an individual can manage symptoms, regain confidence in his or her skills, get back on his or her goal path or start new goal paths.

For adults with chronic mental illness recovery is a reality! Please consider our invitation to join Compeer at the NAMI Walks event on Sept. 24. 

Denise Ayres

Denise Ayres is Compeer Program Coordinator.

Read More on Health & Wellness
Volume 3, Issue 19, Posted 3:03 PM, 09.20.2011