More than 4,000 walkers participated in the Fifth Annual National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Walks for the Minds of America 5-K at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica Saturday, October 4th. The walkers were joined by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, as well as award-winning author and Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez.

Proceeds from the walk go to programs for education, research and advocacy to those suffering from mental illness and their family members.

NAMI Walks for the Minds of America is a nationwide fundraising and mental health awareness program that operates in over 70 communities throughout the United States.

The NAMI Walks participants carried banners and signs to raise awareness about mental illness at the event. Lopez addressed the crowd about his latest work entitled The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music, which has been made into a major motion picture starring Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.

County Supervisors Michael D. Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky proclaimed October 4th as “NAMI Walks for the Minds of America Day in Los Angeles County” at a special presentation during the Board of Supervisors meeting September 16th.

Information, www.namiwalk