Hello, I am Matthew Shapiro; I work at NAMI-NYS. I am cat walking because I am very excited for the opportunity to Off the Mask and help advance conversations about mental health. Mental illness has impacted me and many members of my family. Ending the silence about mental health issues is important to me as I want to provide hope so others don’t have to quietly suffer the way my family did for way too long. My favorite quote is “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.” –Muhammad Ali