BRIMFIELD, Ill. — Over a thousand people spent their Saturday morning walking to raise awareness of mental health illness.
Whitney’s Walk for Life organizers hosted its 16th annual 5K event at Jubilee College State Park.
The event raises money for the Hult Center for Healthy Living. It’s a nonprofit that aims to raise awareness for suicide prevention in youth and adults.
The Hult Center supports local depression awareness and suicide prevention programs in the region.
“I think its a good way for people to come together, and it just brings hope. it really brings hope for a lot of people,” said Morgan Koehler, marketing & special events coordinator for the Hult Center for Healthy Living.
The community came together for the walk which has been held since 2004.
“Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. one out of four people suffer from a mental health disorder,” said Jamie Harwood.
For children, suicide is the leading cause of death for ages ten to fourteen.
The Hult Center programs reach out in the local community.
“We have a youth mental health matters program, so we’re in the schools k through 12, teaching them coping skills and helping them recognize the signs in knowing when to ask for help,” said Koehler.
The resources the center provides help reduce the mental health stigma.
“It shows the community we’re all in it together, you know? we’re all in it together, we’re here to support each other,” said Harwood.
Whitney’s Walk gives people who have struggled through mental health, or lost a family member, support.
“It just brings to light, that you’re not alone. you can ask for help, ask a friend, tell a family member how you’re feeling, seek help from a counselor,” said Koehler.