Shining a limelight on mental health – 2nd Annual Miles for the Mind Mental Health Awareness walk

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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – The second annual Miles for the Mind Mental Health Awareness Walk was held in West Ishpeming on Friday. The event featured a sunset walk, prizes, guest speakers and even booths with educational materials from local mental health organizations.

“It definitely feels good,” Tonya Allen the founder of Miles for the Mind said. “I always say is that if I help even one person, by putting myself out there and bringing mental health up to the limelight and then it’s worth it at the end of the day. It’s bigger than me and I just feel really good about bringing the community together and hopefully, somebody takes a resource or hears something tonight from one of our speakers and maybe they get the help they need and we just keep normalizing mental health.”

15 years ago to the day, Allen lost her father who was affected by suicide. This is what helped push Allen to become a Mental Health Advocate to this day and share her story with others. After experiencing personal connections with mental health struggles, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, Allen took to Facebook to create and online community of people to encouraging more others to get out and get active.

“I’m a big mental health advocate and I thought, no one’s really being able to gather so I said ‘What could I do to still promote mental health awareness?’,” Allen said. “Exercise is one proven way to to help combat, mental illness and anxiety and depression so the group kind of came together as a way for people to kind of motivate each other to get out there and exercise while promoting the mental health awareness.”

That Facebook group idea has blossomed and she now has a Miles for the Mind apparel line along with her annual walk.

For the Miles for the Minds Facebook group click here.

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