Thanks to the generosity of our 2016 hikers and their supporters, last week we presented Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, president of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF), with a check for $48,000. 100% of that donation will be invested in BBRF’s grants leading to advances and breakthroughs in brain and behavior research.
BBRF has awarded more than 5,000 grants since 1987 and has been widely recognized for funding innovative studies that change the way we understand and treat schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, OCD, bipolar spectrum disorders and many other brain and behavior disorders.
Grant funds top $175,000
Since our founding, we have contributed more than $175,000 to BBRF’s grant programs. It is both thrilling and humbling to see how the hiking community has embraced this effort.
Long-distance hikers on the AT and PCT account for about half the donations, which seems fitting. Out on the trail, the differences and judgments that are so prevalent in society today seem to fall away amidst the simplicity of walking in the elements to find food, water and shelter each day. The trail is a great equalizer. So it is fitting that long distance hikers are such strong contributors in the battle to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.
The other half of the support comes from our day hikes. On these hikes, we often hear hikers share the struggles faced by brothers, sisters, parents, children, friends and other relatives. We hear from hikers who themselves are living with a mental illness and who because of the stigma have never told others about it before.
As we begin 2017, we are excited for another year of hiking, another year of shining light onto the darkness that is the stigma of mental illness, and another year of being amazed by the support of the hiking community for this important work that we are proud to share with the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.