For the past 12 years (except for the year we had COVID), on the fourth Saturday in August, we head for the mountains – Mt. Washington to be more precise.
We love hiking. We love volunteering. We strive to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness.
We have our own stories and you have yours.
In a world where mental illness causes silent suffering, we choose to hike this hike specifically because we find ourselves aligned with the mission statement and goals of HFMH.
100% of the funds raised by us goes to the cause. Yep 100%!!!! 80% of the funds go to providing grants for scientific research (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation) and also funding programs the reduce suffering that comes from mental illness. 20% goes to trail conservation, specifically the ATC, PCTA, CDTC
Step by step, we will meet stigma face to face and bravely demolish it.
We are building community, conversation by conversation!
Please consider supporting our cause
I would like your help.
The deal is, I will hike the tallest mountain in the northeast USA, and you will give money to Hike for Mental Health. HFMH will give most of that money to basic research into detecting and treating mental illnesses, and the rest will go to trail maintenance. I have been hiking for years in pursuit of one list or another as an excuse to get out in the woods, to see the world that hasn’t been remade by people. Those hikes have improved my personal mental health!
This hike is special in that it will improve the mental health of individuals with mental illness. And by being a venue about mental health and mental illness, this is a hike where people can talk about their own journey regarding mental illness. And those talks increase understanding, empathy, and reduce the stigma of mental illness.
My journey started with my brother Kurt, and I shared this journey with my family. Kurt was the oldest, and I was the youngest, with a sister and brother in between. To me as a child, Kurt was cool because he stood up to my parents and got away with stuff, but he was also scary because he was volatile and had strange ideas. By the time Kurt was 17, he was saying that people were shooting guns at him when he drove down the road and doing things that were getting him in trouble outside of our house. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. Long story short, our family was able to provide for Kurt and give him a home – we were lucky, very lucky. He did not end up on the street, he did not end up in an asylum. Kurt was… maintained, but he had only one friend, could not hold a job, did not have a life outside of the house, did not seem to have any joy in his life, and was difficult to live with. For instance, he surrounded himself with old TVs tuned to static, and sometimes he would turn the volume all the way up. To me, he seemed utterly alone and there was literally no one who understood him or could connect meaningfully with him.
I would like your help to create a world where a young kid my brother Kurt could be recognized as schizophrenic as early as possible, maybe while there is time for treatment that would help that kid have a rich life, with friends and family and joy. And I want that world to do the same for PTSD, depression, bipolar and all those other mental problems.
1 in 4 families is affected by mental illness.
HIKE for Mental Health is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded on the vision of a world in which everyone, including those who suffer mental illness, can find the simple joy of living.
Our mission is to alleviate the suffering of those afflicted by mental illness, eliminate the associated stigma, and foster responsible use of wilderness trails.
As an all-volunteer organization, we distribute 100% of contributions raised by our hikes.
- 80% funds scientific research to understand and treat mental illness
- 20% conserves national wilderness trails
Your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS. Thank you for your support.
To learn more, visit hikeformentalhealth.org.
To join a hike click here.