ARAFMI Hunter is a non-profit, non-government charitable organisation that has been operating in the Hunter for the past 35 years. ARAFMI stands for The Association of Relatives and Friends of People with a Mental Illness, offering counselling, telephone support, support groups, educational programs and workshops and information for carers, relatives and friends of people with a mental illness. The ARAFMI annual Mental Health Month Walk of Pride started in Newcastle in October 2005 as part of Mental Health Awareness. The event has proven to be a great success, it is now undertaken in many cities throughout Australia, such as Perth and Brisbane to smaller communities like Kincumber on the Central Coast and Illawarra. Our vision is for communities responding to the impact of stigma on individuals and families affected by mental illness from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Communities walking side by side, challenging attitudes and beliefs, showing acceptance, compassion and understanding. With one in three people experiencing mental illness at some point in their lives, it is important to come together at events like this to show support. Stigma can be so debilitating it can stop people from reaching out for help. This year's theme is "Kindness, little acts, big impacts". A carer wrote: "The last eight Walk of Prides have been very special to me. I have walked with my beautiful daughter, she has a mental illness. She is my hero on the battle field, I am so proud of her, and the work she does. I look at her as she walks, head held high, we shed a tear when our eyes meet. We know in our hearts we walk for her brother who took his life, he had a mental illness, he battled and lost. We walk for all who struggle. If everyone could just remember mental illness is an illness, not a choice. Please come and support the walk in 2013." Professor Patrick McGorry, Australian of the year 2010, is the patron for the Mental Health Month Walk of Pride held in Newcastle annually. He will be attending and speaking again this year. The walk will be held on Saturday, October 19, starting at 10am from Pacific Park (top of Hunter Street, near Newcastle Beach). We will walk down the Hunter Street mall and end with a community forum in Civic Park. There will be guest speakers, entertainment, information stalls and food available. By coming together we can encourage change, step out of stigma and offer hope.