Key Raga, Executive Director of the Stark County Chapter of NAMI, was a guest on the Gary Rivers Show Wednesday morning.

She invited Gary to emcee the October 6th Moving Forward for Mental Health Walk at the Hoover Park, across from Walsh University.

Hear the interview with Kay Raga

The walk is coordinated by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Stark County affiliate, a grass-roots organization that provides support groups, education programs and advocacy to individuals and families impacted by mental illness.  Nearly 46.6 million people experience mental illness in 2017 year, according to the National Institute on Mental Health.  “That translates to about one in five adults,” said Kay. “That means we all know someone who is dealing with mental illness, often suffering silently because of the stigma that can be associated with the illness. We envision a community where all those impacted by mental illness experience acceptance, understanding and support they need to achieve wellness and recovery,” Mental illness covers a wide range of conditions, from schizophrenia to anxiety disorders, as well as depression, Raga said.

“In 2018, we provided critical support, education and advocacy services to 2,911 participants. We also participate in the training police officers, dispatchers and corrections officers to improve crisis response,” Raga said.  Since 2004 over 540 officers, dispatchers and corrections officers have completed CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Training.

The walk takes place at the Hoover Trail Connector Park, across from Walsh University.

To learn more about participating in the October 6th walk that starts at 2 p.m., please contact NAMI Stark County at 330-455-6264. Additional details can be found on the NAMI Stark County website.   Registration and Donations at:

Registration for this event is free but participants are encouraged to raise funds by securing sponsors for their participation in the walk throughout the Hoover Park Connector Trail on East Maple.  Registration starts the day of the event at 1 p.m. Participants are invited to stay for refreshments following the walk.  Family Fun Activities include face painting, balloon artist and Time Warp Games!  Special appearance by “Pozzie” from the Canton Charge. Great door prizes including 32” Smart TV, Fitbit, 7” Tablet, Echo Dot just to name a few!!!

Hear the Interview