5K walk supports mental health awareness

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The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan hosted its 16th annual Stomp Out Stigma 5K Walk for Mental Health on May 19, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Mich.


Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan hosted its 16th annual Stomp Out Stigma 5K Walk for Mental Health on May 19, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Spring rain did not stop people from raising awareness for mental health illnesses and suicide Saturday morning.

The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan hosted its 16th annual Stomp Out Stigma 5K Walk for Mental Health in downtown Grand Rapids.

Each year, hundreds of participants raise money to support the be nice. and Live Laugh Love campaigns. Both promote healthy dialogue about mental illness and how to help someone who is struggling.

“It’s very important to have these conversations and ask,” Jeni Fritz told 24 Hour News 8. “Because if you ask somebody, they will tell you because they don’t want to die. They just want to end their pain. They just want to stop their pain.”

Fritz lost her son, Branden, to suicide nearly 10 years ago. 

A courtesy photo of Branden Fitz.

photo
Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

A courtesy photo of Branden Fitz.

“The night before it happened Branden told me, ‘I’m gonna die before you.'” Fritz recalled. “And I’m like, ‘No you’re not. I’m your mom. We’ll die at the same time.’ It’s what we always said, but had I just said, ‘Are you planning to kill yourself? Are you feeling like you want to die?’ he would still be here.”

Now, she volunteers with the foundation to teach people the importance of recognizing warning signs and not being afraid to ask for help.

“We really need to change everybody’s way of thinking,” Fritz said.

Source: http://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/5k-walk-supports-mental-health-awareness/1188321645

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