LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Each year, thousands of mental health advocates gather at the Capitol. They say this because they’re on a mission to highlight the needs within behavioral health care. “My voice, my life, my way,” a chant that could be heard throughout the rally. 

More than 2,000 advocates representing counties all across the state come together to raise awareness about a few things including the need for more funding for mental health services.

“Yes, we are living with mental illness we are no different than anyone else. The sky is the limit. Don’t judge us just walk a mile in my shoes,” one attendee said. 

This rally also aims to educate legislators about why mental health matters and the importance of increased funding that will support positive outcomes for the more than 300,0000 people in the public mental health system.

“Michigan needs to support our most vulnerable citizens,” a woman at the rally said. 

“It allows me to connect, engage and unite with people who also share similar disabilities. We are all walking a similar path.” another attendee said. 

Many here say that by hosting events like these and raising awareness when it comes to the state’s public behavioral health system. they have hope that it will remind legislators that the people come first.