[KHTS] – The Placerita Nature Center is set to host California’s first Hike For Mental Health on June 1 to support mental health research and wilderness trail maintenance.
“The main thing is to cause awareness that there is a problem with mental health,” said Laura Skorich, docent at the Placerita Nature Center and team leader for California’s first Hike For Mental Health event.
“Most family’s deal with it on one level or another, whether it is alzheimer’s or schizophrenia or something else,” she said. “We’ve all gotten together to fight cancer and heart disease, but we sometimes sweep mental health under the rug because there is a stigma attached to it.”
Hike For Mental Health is a nonprofit organization with the goal of raising awareness of various mental illnesses, increase appreciation of wilderness trails and raise funds to maintain trails and prevent and alleviate the pain caused by mental illness, according to the organization’s website.
The hike is also a good way for participants to clear their own minds and take some time to relax, Skorich said.
“Hiking is one of those really good outlets for people to separate from society and their busy lives,” Skorich said.
80 percent of proceeds from the hike on June 1st are expected to go towards scientific research into causes, treatments and cures for major mental illness such as PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar spectrum disorders, and depression, according to a press release from Hike For Mental Health.
The remaining 20 percent of funds are set to maintain wilderness trails by supporting local and national non-profit trail maintenance groups, according to the release.
The trail funds raised at the event will be split evenly between the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail, Skorich said.
Hikers will be able to choose between two trails one June 1st.
The first group will follow the Canyon Trail upstream on Placerita Creek, then take the Waterfall Trail through shady Los Piñetos Canyon to the foot of a seasonal 15 foot waterfall. The round trip is about 5 miles and suitable for beginners, according to the release.
The second group will follow Canyon Trail to Los Piñetos Trail to Firebreak Road. The 7.5 round trip offers more challenging terrain, but also more rewarding views, according to the release.
To sponsor a hiker, visit Hike for Mental health, here.
If you are interested in registering for the hike, or want to learn more about Hike for Mental health, click here.