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Walking to Mars for mental health

Do you want to help create awareness of mental health issues? Then be at the Mountain Mill Mall on Thursday 4 October.

October is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Life Path Health, a group of seven mental health hospitals, which includes Pines Clinic in Worcester, wants to break down the stigma of mental illness.

The group is joining forces with the national Crazy for Walking initiative and will be hosting various Crazy Mall Walks.

Hospital staff will be on treadmills, counting towards a walk of 56 million km, the distance from Earth to Mars.

“We want to reclaim the word ‘crazy’ associated with mental illness, and support something really crazy, like a walk to Mars,” says Anton Rossouw, CEO of Life Path Health.

The term mental illness is used to describe conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and bipolar disorder. One in every three South Africans will suffer a mental health episode in their lifetime, and about 75% of them will never seek treatment owing to the stigma of mental illness.

According to the World Health Organisation, close to 800 000 people commit suicide every year – that is, one person takes their life every 40 seconds.

You can make your walk count and add your kilometres to those who are already changing minds about mental health. Join the Crazy Mall Walk on treadmills, from 09:00 to 16:00 at one of several shopping centres, including Mountain Mill Mall on 4 Ocotber.

A Crazy for Walking app will be released shortly to count all participants’ steps towards the walking quest to Mars. You can also show your support on 10 October by wearing your craziest socks and share it on social media. By merely wearing your crazy socks you will help fight the stigma of mental Illness. Find out more about this initiative at www.crazyforwalking.co.za.

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