Wednesday night was an evening of awareness and a celebration of those who tirelessly fight discrimination against mental illness, as Darryl "DMC" McDaniels — founder of Run DMC and mental health advocate — was honored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC Metro) with their “Mental Health Advocate of the Year” award during the organization’s annual “Seeds of Hope” gala in New York City.
PIX11’s Andy Adler served as host and emcee of the evening.
After receiving his award, McDaniels performed some of his biggest hits for attendees and went on to tell the crowd that it was depression that nearly cost him his life by suicide until he sought treatment through therapy. He added, “While I didn’t mean this to rhyme, I mean it when I say ‘if you remove the guilt and shame, you remove the pain.’”
With hundreds in attendance, the annual event raised funds for the many programs of NAMI-NYC Metro including its four multi-week education courses, peer-to-peer support groups, and public education events that help thousands of New York City residents each year.
The event also recognized First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray for championing the cause of mental health reform and creating ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the nation. McCray has been a strong supporter of NAMI-NYC Metro, and has served as grand marshal for their annual NAMIWalks.