My first HFMH up Mt Washington I did in memory of my brother Kurt, who suffered from schizophrenia. As the years have gone by, I hike for more people – friends that have died by suicide, friends that suffer from depression and others with bipolar.
Kurt was diagnosed back when he was 17 years old, and it affected him the rest of his life. My family was fortunate that we could provide him a home, food and safety for his life. But we could not give him joy. We could not help him into our common reality. We could not give his thoughts harmony. My family did group therapy with Kurt. It didn’t do much for him, but it got us talking openly about his diagnosis and what it meant for us. And that helped us help him with the physical concerns. One goal of HFMH is to reduce the stigma of mental illness, because the stigma in society regarding mental illness is as big a problem as the mental illness itself. Stigma prevents suffering people from getting something that could help them.
Much of the money raised for HFMH goes to basic research into the roots of mental illness. Imagine if we could diagnose a mental illness before it presented itself. Imagine it we could apply treatments before the illness progressed. Imagine mitigating the effects so that a person could have a happier life, connecting with friends and family. This is what I am hiking for. So that someday, a kid like my brother will have a great life, instead of a grey life.
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.