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NAMIBikes Florida: State Event on Nov. 3; Cyclists will 'Fight Stigma & Ride' to Help Individuals and Families Affected by Mental Illness

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 2, 2012 -- NAMI Florida, the state organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is proud to announce this year's NAMIBikes event, taking place at Tom Brown Park (1125 Easterwood Drive) in Tallahassee on Nov. 3.

The bike riding event will raise awareness about mental illness, treatment and recovery—and the need for services and support in the community for individuals and families affected by mental illness.

The event offers courses for all abilities. For rigorous cyclists, there will be a 100-mile 'Century' ride to Monticello, Fla. and back and a 64-mile 'Metric Century' ride to Capps, Fla. and back.

There will also be a 30-mile off-road ride, a 6-mile family-ride around the park and a 'bike rodeo,' a safety course where kids can learn safety skills like navigating cones, stopping and proper helmet fit.

Riding under the banner "Fight Stigma and Ride," NAMIBikes cyclists will pedal for hope and change.

"We ride to break-down the stereotypes that surround mental illness," explained Judi Evans, NAMI Florida's executive director.

"When we see the same compassion given for a diagnosis of a mental illness as we give for a physical illness then we will begin to see real change."

Serious mental illness includes major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These illnesses are real, treatable and affect people from all walks of life.

Check-in and a continental breakfast open at 6 a.m. Start-times vary according to distance.

Courses will be marked and feature rest stops and vehicle support. The event will offer music, food and more.

There will be a pre-event dinner and a picnic lunch in the park after the ride.

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Located in Tallahassee, NAMI Florida and dedicated volunteers throughout the state work to raise awareness and provide free education, advocacy and support groups benefitting thousands of families and individuals each year.

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