Thousands participate in annual walk for Mental Health Awareness

The Congress Bridge was shut down by thousands of people walking to support family, friends, and loved ones suffering from mental health issues.

"It was incredible because you had all age groups, all races, and it was just a beautiful thing for me. As a suicide survivor, someone who is battling depression, and someone who has become an advocate of this, to be out here to walk alongside people who are just like me who are bringing mental health awareness to the mainstream," Jay Styles, a local radio DJ who is living with depression and borderline personality disorder, said.

For NFL Hall of Famer, and Texas native, Darrell Green the walk was personal.

"My mom dealt with mental illness and depression. My grandmother also dealt with it before they passed away. This is all about destroying the stigma around that you know 'oh man you've got mental illness'. This is also about freeing people up to come forward to get the treatment, to have the conversation, to talk about it," Green said.

Carolina and Patrick Curby-Lucier were walking for a member of their family and they were blown away by the amount of support and resources available to help.

"This is our first walk that we've done for mental health and I wasn't sure how many people would come out here but the number of people that are here shows that it does affect a lot of people," Carolina said.

"Seeing these thousands of people out here. Wow. It helps show people that they aren't the only ones going through this. It's so important when you're battling a mental health issue that you see other people are going through the same thing and that you're not alone," Styles said.

The 11th annual walk raised more than $300,000 but more importantly it lifted the hopes of those fighting to live.

"This to me gives all of us a chance to come together, to dialogue, to step back and see the forrest from the trees, and realize that together we are both dealing with something but together we can both overcome it," Green said.

For more information on how to seek help go to namiaustin.org

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