45
      Friday
      75 / 54
      Saturday
      78 / 56
      Sunday
      80 / 59

      Mental health matters

      Stop the stigma held against mentally and physically disabled people...that's why more than 100 people participated in the second annual Walk A Mile In My Shoes Mental Health Matters Rally.

      Their message? Be kind to everyone.

      "Bullying is a big problem for autistic kids. In all honesty, and I don't know if this is for every autistic, but for me, bullies seemed to pick me out from the rest of the crowd because of it," said Paul Garthwait.

      The rally is a way for them to raise awareness, acceptance, and respect of people with mental and physical disabilities.

      Officials say many times people don't seek the help they need for fear of the negative perception others may have.

      "People, like if I tell them I have a mental illness, they have been kind of afraid. I've lost some friendships over it," said Valerie Swanberg.

      Wednesday, community members, residents, and those with disabilities walked together as one. In the crowd of supporters, a mother who lost her daughter to suicide after suffering from schizophrenia.

      "That's just why I'm here and to help the other people so that they don't have to go through those things and do drastic things like she did," said Lauren Braspenick.

      Participants also got the opportunity to share their stories at the rally. They hope their message brings a bigger crowd next year.