Over 100 people walk for mental health awareness in Alexandria
Vikingland Community Support Program organized the walk that went from its Broadway location to city hall and back on Friday, May 19.
ALEXANDRIA — As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, more than 100 people walked from Vikingland Community Support Program's Broadway Location to Alexandria City Hall and back again to raise awareness for mental health on Friday, May 19.
The event was organized by Vikingland CSP to "stomp out the stigma" of mental health.
According to its website, Vikingland CSP provides services and supports for individuals with a mental illness.
"We believe in promoting self-sufficiency by therapeutic interventions and skills training," the website read. "Services are designed to improve independent functioning, enhance social competence, achieve psychiatric stability, along with providing education, assistance, support and encouragement."
The event started at 11:30 a.m. in their back parking lot at 1106 Broadway. Before the walk Rebecca Schmitz, Vikingland CSP's executive director and Whitney McClaine, dubbed Miss Northwest at a Miss America pageant, spoke about mental health awareness and the importance of asking for help.
Information tables were set up by other organizations in town that provide services related to mental health — Region 4 South Mental Health Consortium which helps people avoid crisis and find appropriate services; West Central Minnesota Communities Action which provides programs for energy assistance, housing, education, finances, health, and transportation; WEcovery, a non-profit that provides one on one peer recovery coaching, distributes Narcan and fentanyl testing strips and resource navigation; And Someplace Safe, a non-profit that provides services for victims on domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sex trafficking and labor trafficking.
After the walk, attendees were able to learn more about the programs above and were given a free meal.