Walking for Mental Health Awareness

STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Traffic was slowed and road patterns were altered in part of the Poconos today, but it was for a good reason. Hundreds of different people came together to lace up their sneakers for a cause.

Burt Jones of Stroudbsurg has struggled with mental health issues since he was a kid. Now, depression and anxiety are just part of life.

"It's hard for someone who doesn't go through these symptoms on a daily, regular basis to really understand,: Jones explains.

With balloons and banners in hand, hundreds walked for people in our community like Burt. This is the 17th annual Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health Awareness Walk.

"We need to make sure people understand and not be frightened or have biases," says Norma Swint of Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health & Devlopmental Services.

The walk started on Main Street in Stroudsburg and ended at the Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg. At the finish line, different providers were on-hand with information and resources about mental health.

"To hopefully educate the community," Swint adds.

Senator Mario Scavello says locally, there's a waiting list for young people with mental issues to get the help and resources they need. State funding is also a problem.

"In the state of flux we're in right now, if you're level funded, you're a hero. And we've tried to put extra dollars into these services," Senator Mario Scavello says.

Burt says his goal is to turn his anxiety into awareness, one 'step' at a time.
 
"There's help out there. And we just want to try and spread the word," Jones says.


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