LUBBOCK, Texas — The National Association of Mental Illness of Lubbock hosted the first ever Mental Health Awareness walk on Saturday.

The goal of the walk is to raise awareness of mental illness and let people know that they’re not alone.

“It’s okay to talk about it. So our hope is that this does grow and become an annual event and just have a way to reach more people each year.” Brad Hunt, Affiliate leader of NAMI Lubbock, said.

Hunt said nationally one in five adults deal with mental health conditions and in Texas alone that’s more than 3 million people.

“And the numbers of adolescents are about one in six. So we know that mental health conditions mental illness is very widespread,” Hunt said.

Brandi Ivey, Community Relations Coordinator of Starcare, said it’s a hard topic to talk about.

“The brain is a very important organ in the body. And whenever we have a problem with our heart, or our lungs, we do seek help for that,” Ivey said. But sometimes we delay getting help for mental health challenges, because of the stigma associated with mental illness.”

Ivey said as we get back to our normal routines from COVID-19, many may feel anxious and scared and due to the stigma associated with mental illness its difficult to seek treatment.

“The walk is to to not only celebrate, but share resources on how you can get help if you’re experiencing a mental health challenges… there’s going to be music, we’re going to have games, we’ve got ice cream.” Ivey said.

The walk is on Saturday at 10a.m. at Lubbock Cooper High School and is free to the public.