Stomp Out Stigma 5K raises awareness about mental health, suicide prevention

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Hundreds, if not thousands, gathered for the 15th annual Stomp Out Stigma 5K Walk in Grand Rapids Saturday morning. 

Organizers say "The stigma associated with mental illness is one of the greatest barriers that prevent people from seeking help. This walk not only strives to raise awareness but encourages people to be mentally fit."

Many people who participated Saturday were personally impacted by a loved one attempting or committing suicide.  Many of the team captains were suicide-attempt survivors themselves. 

Maddie McCallum lost her brother to suicide just 3 months ago at the age of 19.  She says her family has been passionate about raising awareness for mental health and wellness for years.  She says if someone out there is struggling, reach out, people care and want to help. She says the hundreds walking Saturday is proof of that.

The walk began in the Seward Parking lot across from the downtown Pew Campus of GVSU and traveled along the Grand River's downtown boardwalk.

Organizers say all proceeds from the walk benefit the education programs of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.

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