Mental Health Walk draws more than 150 attendees
The Vikingland Community Support Program has a new office location, and on Thursday, May 18, more than 150 people cycled through.
The afternoon marked the sixth annual Mental Health Walk, as well as the open house for the new location. The walk is done each year to bring awareness to mental health and its effects, as May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
Attendees marched four blocks from the office to the City Hall and back, carrying signs with messages such as “Mental health affects everyone” and “Let’s stomp out the stigma.” Afterwards, they were treated to a lunch donated by Cub Foods, as well as a message from 32-year-old jazz musician Sam Miltich of Grand Rapids, who has battled schizophrenia for 10 years.
“When I was 22 years old, a metaphorical freight train slammed into my head, and I’ve been dealing with my illness with varying degrees of wellness and deep struggle ever since,” he told the crowd. “I tell you truly the last thing I wish to be doing today is to be talking about my mental illness. I do this out of a sense of duty to speak for those with mental illness who cannot speak for themselves or whose voices are not being heard.”
This event is sponsored by the Douglas County Local Advisory Council on Adult Mental Health. Miltich's appearance was made possible by the Evansville Art Center.