#MindsOnMain

Now that's a #MindsOnMain PARADE! #video

A post shared by NAMI Mid-Carolina (@namimidcarolina) on

I am both beside myself and humble (those two things are possible in tandem, right?) to have been a part of this event. Cat came with me and we joined the hundreds of other people who came on a parade down Main Street in Columbia, SC. The weather was beautiful and kind, and I made it to the end with minimal loss of coherent speech (which resolved after a short sit in the shade). Please enjoy a few errant photographs I took, and feel free to view many more at NAMI Mid-Carolina’s Facebook Page.

We were somewhere in the middle of the parade route as it lined up to start.

We were somewhere in the middle of the parade route as it lined up to start.

The parade ended just a couple of blocks from the state house.

The parade ended just a couple of blocks from the state house.

Mayor Steve Benjamin met us at the end of the route.

Mayor Steve Benjamin met us at the end of the route.

The street was flush with local vendors selling food and art, so of course there was face painting for the kids!

The street was flush with local vendors selling food and art, so of course there was face painting for the kids!

1472085_10206401971990203_7684935774769445181_nThere was also a live DJ and all the street dancing you never thought you’d do during the day in a busy city. And not only did I get a t-shirt with the logo I designed printed on it, but so did at least a hundred other people.

This event’s aim — to celebrate the understanding of mental illness instead of fearing it in the dark — is near to my heart. Your brain is a part of your body and needs health like every other piece of you.

Living with multiple sclerosis effects your brain in ways many clinicians don’t completely understand, but there is assistance available. Contact your local chapter of NAMI if you or a loved one needs help.

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