By Anna Skinner
For the past two years, Westfield High School 2013 graduate Samantha Brinkman has held her mental health awareness and suicide prevention walk, Walk for Love, at Cool Creek Park, and for the third annual event, 11 a.m. June 4, Brinkman is implementing some changes.
“This year, it is being held by IUPUI Students Who Care, which is a new, student-led organization that my friend and I started to get campus more involved in mental health awareness,” Brinkman said. “(The walk) is at the canal downtown this year, starting at the Ohio river basin and then continuing around the whole loop.”
Brinkman has also changed the beneficiary for the funds from To Write Love On Her Arms to Aspire, a mental health service organization where Brinkman herself spent time at, and the Indiana Neuro-Diagnostic Institute, a new mental health hospital currently under construction in Indianapolis.
“All of the money is going to local mental health organizations,” she said. “People should go because it’s really an eye-opening event, and it gets the conversation going for mental health and gets people to open up if they have struggled with mental health or suicide.”
Three guest speakers, including Brinkman, will share their stories of the struggles they overcame in regards to mental health. Apparel will be for sale, and tickets cost $5. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event or online. A photo booth with the saying “I am…” will be set up to encourage positive sayings and confidence.
A balloon release will also be held, where participants write their biggest fear and their biggest dream on a balloon and release it.
“The idea behind that is fears can’t hold you down, and the sky is the limit for your dreams,” Brinkman said.
“We raised $500 last year, and this year I want to try to raise $750,” she added. “We have already raised $200 with pre-fundraisers.”
For tickets, visit active.com/Indianapolis-in/running/distance-running-races/walk-for-love-2016.
To learn more about IUPUI Students Who Care, visit iupuistudentswhoca.wix.com/iupuiswc.