SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (WEHT) — At Jim Yellig Park, several organizations in the Spencer County Health Coalition are meeting to offer mental health resources at the third annual Mental Health Matters Awareness Walk.

About 200 walkers also came to support the organization and share the message that people suffering from mental illnesses are not alone.

Christina Beeler from LifeSpring Health Systems — a mental health agency in Spencer County — says there is an increase of depression and anxiety issues in the community.

“We want to bring awareness that there’s no shame in asking for help,” Beeler says. “Everyone maybe has a family member, maybe it’s themselves, coworkers, mental health issues — it doesn’t discriminate. So, there’s help out here, and we just want to make that aware.”

The event kicks off May as “mental health awareness month.” The organizers want people to know that it is important to take the time for self-care. Some who are walking today say they believe mental health is just as important as physical health.”

“I used to be a DCFS caseworker, so a lot of times we would see the mental health crisis really affect families in an awful way,” says Jordan Foertsch, who participated in the walk. “We really wanted to come out and support that and try to make a change, make a difference and support all of these organizations that are offering services for those that do need a little help mentally.”

Saturday’s route took walkers around two of the park’s baseball fields, and several people walked the loop multiple times — including Tim Rogier.

“I’m supporting the cause because not many people know about the unknown disease that we have, and it’s touched me personally,” Rogier says. “I do my entire walking for that maybe someone else will understand the challenge that most people don’t understand.”

The route also started and ended by some mental health and addiction recovery resources. A club called “Voice Action Speaks” runs one of the tables and is painting faces for kids.

This is an organization encouraging people to live tobacco and drug-free lives.

“I think it’s important for me because I personally have experience with this,” Maddie Knepper says, who is with Voice Action Speaks. “It was a really hard time for me and my friends and my family, and this club has brought me out of that.”

The organizations encourage those experiencing a crisis — including thoughts of suicide — to dial the crisis hotline 988 free-of-charge.

Other resources are available on in.gov.


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