Hiking on backcountry trails helps many people re-connect with nature and with places within themselves that get obscured in the daily hustle and bustle. A few days in the solitude of the trail re-grounds them and helps preserve their mental health.
For people battling mental illness, however, the path to mental health is rarely so simple. Mental illness affects 1 out of 4 families in the United States, leaving those who suffer from it and their families searching for answers, cures and treatments that will allow them to experience the simple joy of living.
The mission of HIKE for Mental Health
- Increase public awareness of the challenges and suffering faced by those afflicted by mental illness and their families.
- Increase public appreciation for and responsible use of wilderness trails.
- Raise funds, principally by coordinating fundraising wilderness hikes, in order to
- prevent and alleviate the pain caused by mental illness
- maintain and preserve wilderness trails
In distributing its net proceeds, HIKE for Mental Health will direct
- Eighty percent to scientific research to alleviate suffering from mental illness and to programs that eliminate the stigma surrounding it
- Twenty percent to preserve wilderness trails
Our Partners in the Mission
For 2015 HIKE for Mental Health has selected The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation as its principal beneficiary. Support for wilderness trails will be directed to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Pacific Crest Trail Association. These organizations are top-notch, well-run nonprofit groups that, like HIKE for Mental Health, know how to get the most bang for their buck.