Beautiful Minds Walk fights mental illness stigma

Diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis: these disorders, and many more, have few or no outward indicators. Nonetheless, these “invisible illnesses” are medical conditions. The people who have them feel comfortable seeing a physician about them, getting treatment and telling others about their affliction without shame.

People with mental illness, however, don’t always feel they have that option. Every day, they face stigma: negative perceptions about their illness that are prevalent in society but often untrue.

To fight that stigma, the Center for Mental Health sponsors the annual Beautiful Minds Walk/Run.

According to Center for Mental Health CEO Sydney Blair, “The Beautiful Minds Walk/Run is a chance to celebrate people living with mental illness and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.”

Set for Saturday, June 18, the 10th annual Beautiful Minds Walk/Run features a 3K and 5K run starting at West Bank Park and a walk around Montana ExpoPark.

Registration for the 3K and 5K runs opens at 7 a.m. with the runs starting at 8 a.m. in West Bank Park. Walk registration opens at 11 a.m. Lunch will be served, speakers begin at noon and the walk kicks off at 1 p.m. The event also includes live music, a silent auction, family activities and more.

Guest speaker Joseph O’Brien gives a presentation before the walk at Montana ExpoPark starting at noon before the walk begins.

Run registration costs $25 per person and includes a t-shirt and refreshments. For more information on registering a team for the walk or to make a donation, contact the Center for Mental Health at 791-9513 or visit

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