'Walk For Hope' to be held at Northwood University - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

'Walk For Hope' to be held at Northwood University

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(08/07/12) - The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates one in four adults experience a mental health disorder in a given year.

More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder.

An event in Midland this weekend will be held to encourage people to talk about their problems before it's too late.

There was a time when Amy White of Bay City didn't know what could be done, so four years ago, she tried to end her life.

"I was just in a very dark spot in my life, and honestly, I tried to hide it from a lot of people just because I didn't want people to think of me as mentally ill or crazy," White said.

She eventually talked to her parents.

"They sat me down and we had this long talk," White said.

That began a road to recovery for Amy, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

"Once you understand it more, you know what to look for, you know when to ask for help," White said.

Amy will be one of hundreds of people participating in the Walk for Hope Depression and Suicide Awareness walk at Northwood University on Sunday.

"When you are walking with 500 people, you realize you are not alone," said Barb Smith of Survivors of Suicide.

A quilt will be there with the names and faces of people who have ended their lives.

"Their numbers are going up," Smith said.

But Smith says there is some positive news in that more people with mental illness and thoughts of suicide are calling for help.

"I think people are asking for help more because we are educating the public - that's a good thing - but what we don't want people to do is to wait until they have thoughts of suicide before they reach out," Smith said.

"You really have to keep hold of all the good times and instead of dwelling on the negative energy, just remember the good times. They are going to come back," White said.

The Walk For Hope takes place this Sunday at Northwood University in Midland.

The event begins at 10 a.m. with registration, and then the 5k Run-Walk begins at 12:30.

For more information, you can call 989-781-5260.

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