'Walk a Mile in My Shoes' promotes mental health and well-being

‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’ promotes mental health and well-being

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – More than 300,000 Michigan citizens need behavioral health services.

Thousands of people gathered on the capital’s lawn on Thursday to rally for funding for mental health and to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Organizers say the Walk a Mile in My Shoes rally is being held to raise awareness and educate others and lawmakers about the importance of mental health.

“My voice, my life, my path,” said a mental health advocate.

It was one of many battle cries heard on the lawn of the capitol as mental health groups and advocates across the state gathered to encourage lawmakers to do their part.

“Not once did they tell us that this is how we can produce a better system of care that will ultimately produce better outcomes. Basically, they didn’t tell us how they plan to improve the quality of our lives, they keep saying give us money,” said Kevin Fischer, president of Crisis Intervention Team International.

Fischer said his passion for the cause stems from a devastating loss.

“I became a mental health advocate shortly after losing my son Dominque to suicide in 2010 after his brief battle with very serious mental illness.”

For Fischer, mental and behavioral health advocates must continue their fight to raise awareness and banish stigma.

“No one will save us but us and as the old saying goes, nothing about us, without us. It’s our lives and our future that matter,” Fischer said.

Organizers say they hope their efforts to promote mental health and wellbeing will inspire others to take it more seriously.

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