Skating for Mental Health Awareness

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Not many people would pick rollerblading for a fundraiser, but Naperville resident Mike Lemons decided to combine his hobby with helping an important cause of raising awareness for mental health.

Lemons laced up for a 12-mile skate from his home in Naperville to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, building in Wheaton.

“So the idea is there is that I’m going to really use this to let people be aware that NAMI is really close by so here in Naperville to Wheaton where the offices are. But not only that, it’s also to show that exercise is a key component to mental health. I could’ve walked this I could’ve biked this, for me what’s really worked has been rollerblading. I do it every day, and It’s just been part of my routine and it’s really important especially in this kind of post-lockdown world to keep that mental health balanced,” said Mike Lemons, mental health advocate.

Physically and Mentally Healthy

Lemons says the connection between physical exercise and mental health is fundamentally linked.

“That is what has really made the biggest difference for me, and I think that’s what can help others and to not run away from it. Don’t shy away, that has to end, this stigma has just got to end,” said Lemons.

12 miles later, Mike was surprised by NAMI employees cheering him on to the finish line.

Skating to End Stigma

“To have Mike here today talking about NAMI DuPage, really singing our praises we really want people to know that we’re here to serve our community, and the only way that we can help people is to reduce the stigma so that people seek services,” said Geri Kerger, Executive Director at NAMI DuPage.

Mike’s skate was for NAMI DuPage’s “Run for the Mind” fundraiser, which called for community members to complete a 5K to raise awareness for mental health. Mike’s skate was also taking donations for the fundraiser.

“The resources are right here in our back yard and these incredible people are here to help. I hope people see that. If they’re not comfortable or don’t have the resources to see the doctors or the medical professionals that they might, that they can at least start to get some help here and really help kind of bridge that gap.” said Lemons.

Skating for awareness to keep the community healthy and informed.

Naperville news 17’s Ryan Skryd reports.


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