‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’ raises mental illness awareness

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) – As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, many gathered at the Capitol for the 12th annual ‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’ rally to stomp out the stigma that comes with mental illness.

Thousands stood, danced and walked together at the Capitol for one cause.

“Help smash the stigma of mental illness,” John McDonald said.

McDonald is just one of many who believes there are misconceptions when it comes to having a mental illness.

“People think that you can just use willpower and pull yourself up by your bootstraps and it is not that simple. I think a lot of us would have recovered a long time ago if we were able to do it on our own,” McDonald said.

Kim Kwasinck with Cristo Rey Counseling Services says mental health is just as important of an issue as any other health service.

“We are trying to screen for mental health, substance abuse and physical health to try and look at the whole person for whole body wellness,” Kwasick said.

Many of the people there not only had mental health issues themselves, but also do all they can to help other with the same challenge.

Carrie Moffett with Charter House in Lansing volunteers and writes letters to lawmakers to continue the discussion and improve the prevention and care for mental illness.

“We’re working to help everybody understand and relate and get the kind of help that they need,” Moffett said.

Millions of Americans face the struggle of mental health issues, and in Lansing alone, there are more than 10 facilities trying to help those people who battle this fight every day.

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