MIDDLETOWN -- Team Gilead wore bright purple shirts asking a simple question, who do you walk for?
“I'm walking for a friend named Charlie,” said Dan Osborne, CEO of Gilead Community Services.
Everyone for a different reason. “I’m walking for Frank Ramsey,” said Carly Dicicco of Middletown.
They aren’t the only ones. Everyone on team Gilead has been touched by someone with mental illness. Each of them with their own story. Today there is power in numbers.
Close to 550 participants joined team Gilead for the 4th annual Run for Every 1 5-k. Their mission, to raise awareness for mental health and the impact it has on people.
“One in five Americans will experience mental illness in their lives,” said Osborne. “This isn't some group of people we don't really know. These are our parents, our sisters, our brothers, and our friends”
Together, team Gilead raised close to $45,000 in hopes of providing quality mental health services for people throughout Middlesex County.
“It's out there and people are experiencing this and they should not experience it alone,” said Osborne.
“As you can see with hundreds of runners here today there's a lot of people that care about this issue,” said Participant and state representative Quentin Phipps.
Running isn’t the only way to raise awareness for mental health. Gilead says it’s a year-round effort.
“We’re friend-raising supporters who can talk openly about mental health and not be ashamed of it or hide in the shadows,” said Osborne.
The money Gilead raises goes towards providing housing, clinical support, and opportunities for people dealing with mental health conditions.