WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Walkathon 2022 returned to Stanley Park in Westfield with renewed vigor after being sidelined by the Pandemic.

As he has done for so many years, 22News Anchor Rich Tettemer was at the front of the line during this 22nd annual Walkathon for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts.

Rich was honored being named as Grand Marshall of this sorely missed event, an occasion to help raise awareness and assist family members when a loved one confronts the debilitating effects of emotional problems.

Donna Bunn, president of NAMI Western Massachusetts, told 22News, “Our mission is to support individuals and their families, people who have a mental health diagnoses, that need support.”

And as they continued their symbolic trek through Stanley Park, these participants understand that the pandemic, which delayed the event for two years, had also created unprecedent challenges to so many young people, testing their resiliency in the face of challenging mental issues.

“We’re getting more calls into the office, we’re getting more calls so we are definitely here for them,” Bunn said.

NAMI here in western Massachusetts is definitely on the move, providing support for individuals of all ages and families.