As a part of Mental Health Month, LifeWays Community Mental Health will be joining thousands of advocates from community mental health agencies throughout the state on Wednesday, May 18 to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the “Walk-a-Mile in My Shoes” Rally at the State Capitol in Lansing. The annual event aims to educate the public and Michigan legislators about mental illness and developmental disabilities, and to combat common stigmas and prejudices.
The event will feature an advocacy walk around the Capitol, a speech by Giovan Bazan, a nationally recognized motivational speaker, and brief statements from 83 individuals who use community mental health services – one from each county in the state.
“We’re delighted to see consumers and allies once again raise their voices for the future of behavioral health in Michigan,” said Robert Sheehan, Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards (MACMHB). “Through peaceful and personal testimony, we will continue to be productive in working toward our common goal.”
One in five adults in Michigan will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their life, yet many do not get the treatment they need. One goal of MACMHB and LifeWays Community Mental Health is to ensure everyone who needs treatment for mental illness and developmental disabilities in Michigan is able to receive the care they need.
“Prevention, early identification and intervention, and integrated services work,” concluded Leonard. “Telling people about the realities of life with a mental illness builds support from friends, family, and community members, reduces stigma and discrimination, and is crucial to recovery. We need to help our community members know more about behavioral health so that we can create a community environment with no stigma.”
For more information on Mental Health Month or to take a free online mental health screening, visit LifeWays Community Mental Health website at www.lifewayscmh.org/mentalillness.html.
For more information about the walk, click here.