CLEVELAND -- The sun came out just in time for hundreds of supporters of mental health advocates to pound the pavement Saturday morning.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Health, hosted its 10th annual walk at Voinovich Park.
The Alliance estimates that one-in-five families are affected by mental health issues.
Several groups gathered to show support for their loved ones who deal with this medical condition on a daily basis. One was "Team Jimmy."
Jimmy was in his early twenties when he died. His mother, who handed out black "Team Jimmy" shirts, hoped to carry on his legacy so no other families suffer. His mom says he suffered from anxiety and depression.
She said, "Jimmy was a funny kind, he was actually kind of the class clown, he loved music, he loved his friends, he was a good friend, a great son. We love him and we miss him I am glad to be here in his memory. I hope, I pray that this would help others to know more about mental illness."
About 2.4 million Americans live with schizophrenia.
Sakeenah Francis is one of them. For the last 15 years, she's been on medication and living a perfectly normal life. She wrote a book about her experience and her daughter also wrote about what it was like living with the mental illness.
"I've come to the realization I need to be on medicine, and I need to be around people and I need to have goals, and I have done that and I've been very successful," Francis said.
She talks to community groups including police officers and nurses explaining to them how to help in situations where a person suffers from a mental illness.
"The police had never seen anyone in recovery, that's what they said, and the nurses want to know what they can do to help someone in a hospital and the family members want to know how they can help their loved ones."
The walkers raised thousands of dollars that will help NAMI reach out to those who need help and their families. The money will also go towards changing the stigma that mental illness is a disorder of the brain not a weakness.