I went out to hike the AT right after graduating from The University of Alabama. I wanted to hike for a few reasons, namely, to get a break from the same stuff I had been doing and to get some perspective on my future. I wanted to fully engage in an experience, not to achieve some distant goal, but rather just because I wanted too. I was fortunate enough to save up some in my last semester and to have family that has helped me out along the way. While doing research for my hike I came across Hike for Mental Health, a solid organization that impressed me with their commitment to raising money for Mental Health research and to encourage people struggling with mental health issues to find some healing in the outdoors. About 500 miles into my 2000 mile thru-hike I finally decided to register my hike. Mental health is a topic I hold close, my mom after all is a Therapist; but even more so, mental health issues have affected so many people very close to me. Most noteably, I lost my grandfather to suicide when I was in 8th grade. It was tough to process but I never blamed him. He had struggled his whole life and the mental health services available were just not adequate treatment for him. Mental health care was just not advanced enough to help him. Although there are many great treatments and medications available for the host of disorders listed in the DSM they are not guaranteed to work for everyone and some people, including my grandfather, are just medication resistant. My grandfather was an avid backcountry outdoorsman, he was particularly into skiing. While I have been out here I have felt his presence so strongly and I truely believe he would be so proud to see me spending time in the outdoors and hiking the AT. Feeling his presence really pushed me over the edge and I wanted to register my hike in his memory. I wanted to try to use my hike to raise money to contribute to mental health research so maybe in the future someone struggling in a position like his will have a wider pool of treatment options, hopefully with higher success rates than some of the ones available now, to consider and try in an effort to live a life not so marked by their mental health struggles. Any contribution you are able to make will mean so much to me and will really be put to great use in helping us better understand, treat, and support those struggling with mental health issues.
|Joanie Krupp||09/23/2018||$50.00||Very cool be careful out there||Jeff Church||09/22/2018||$100.00||Cecil Watts||09/20/2018||$50.00||Hi Allison. I'm donating in memory of my Dad, who passed away recently. Your Mom has been a Godsend in helping me deal with his loss. Best of luck and safe travels!||Stephanie Farragher||08/28/2018||$20.00||I am a friend of Liz Daly who was inspired by your hike. Keep up the good work!||Heather Artman||08/25/2018||$200.00||A mom could not be ore proud (-:||Kristina Greer||08/19/2018||$15.00||Go girl!! Liz went to High School with my older sister, Margeaux. I am in the Special Education world and support your efforts in assisting/fundraising for Mental Health Research!||Elizabeth Daly||08/19/2018||$50.00||You are awesome Allison! So proud of you!||Donna Barrickman||08/19/2018||$50.00||So many good memories with your grandfather...especially embracing the "outdoors."||Lauren Jones||08/19/2018||$25.00||Best wishes!||Anna Hikes||08/18/2018||$10.00||Hike on & thanks for supporting research into brain/mental health!|