Local woman walking from Burton to California to raise mental health awareness

Tarissa Reel of Burton sets out for California Tuesday, beginning her cross-country walk to raise awareness for mental health. Photo provided

Tarissa Reel of Burton sets out for California Tuesday, beginning her cross-country walk to raise awareness for mental health. Photo provided

BURTON — Walking for the Voiceless has a goal of raising awareness for all thing’s mental health.

Tarissa Reel of Burton embarked Tuesday on a 2,300-mile trek from Burton to California to raise awareness for mental health on behalf of Walking for the Voiceless.

During the walk she said she will be raising as much money as possible to give to charities along the way.

While doing this walk, Reel said she will be tracking her journey on social media. She said she plans to “talk about all things brushed under the rug”, her own struggle and mental health related topics she said she thinks are not talked about enough.

“This walk is for the people who cannot speak up, are too afraid, or have not found their voice quite yet,” said Reel. “This walk is to end the stigma…no more shame, no more bullying, no more being afraid to talk about the things that impact everyone.”

Reel added, “This walk is to show anyone that life is just a journey full of sunburn, blisters, chafing, exhaustion, and all the other obstacles that may come about during the walk which reflects life and all the obstacles we endure … but all you can do is put one foot in front of the other. If you just keep taking steps – just keep pushing forward, you can make it anywhere you set your destination as.”

For more about her journey, visit Reel’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/walkingforthevoiceless .

Reel has selected several non-profits that are children’s organizations as they match her mission of raising awareness for all things mental health and will be collecting donations along the way.

With every step, she said she hopes to break cycles.

“It starts with us and truly ends with our children,” said Reel.

Her local non-profit that she chose is Whaley Children’s Center in Flint.

Whaley Children’s Center is an independent, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1926 that provides residential childcare services to children ages 5- 17 years old who have suffered chronic and profound abuse and neglect.

Details: Visit www.whaleychildren.org. G.G.