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Hundreds Walk to Raise Awareness About Mental Health Struggles

Published On: Apr 27 2013 01:21:47 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 27 2013 02:07:11 PM CDT
NAMI awareness walk
CHICO, Calif. -

Hundreds of people crowded downtown Chico Saturday morning to raise awareness about the impact of mental health issues.

Butte County NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, organized the one mile walk from the Chico City Plaza to One Mile Recreation Area in Bidwell Park.

An estimated 300 people made the trip.

One of the board members, Cathy Gurney, lives in Chico and grew up in Newtown, Connecticut.  

Mental health issues are believed to have played a role in the life of the gunman behind last year's school shooting in Newton, Connecticut.  That shooting has brought more attention to the issue of mental health and the importance of addressing it.  

Saturday's walk started at 10 a.m.  The event is designed to raise awareness and money for mental health programs in the Northstate.    Former Chico City Councilmember Andy Holcombe was among those participating.  

Organizers said they also want to remove the stigma of mental illness, and encourage those who struggle with it to seek help.