Walk Across Michigan

Walk Across Michigan for Mental Health

After battling depression, anxiety, and alcoholism for the past 6 years, I finally started taking my life back into my hands.  I’ve learned that opening up and talking about our stresses and fears can truly help us find our happiness and peace.  I believe a more open dialogue about our mental health struggles will help foster the courage to accept the challenge of change.  I have found that making many small changes to my thoughts and habits has had a huge impact.  One of the biggest changes I’ve made is to my internal dialogue.  It really isn’t fair to have a negative or hateful relationship with ourselves.  I have a wonderful support system of family and friends, but how am I supposed to love and support them in return if I don’t have a loving and supportive relationship with myself?  I’ve found that when I’m loving and patient with myself the hard work of self-improvement becomes a fun challenge and failures become learning lessons that can even be a bit comical if your heart is light and open.

The route I will walk is 310 miles from Marine City (just north of Lake St. Clair along the St Clair River) to Ludington.  I have 15 days, from August 10th to 24th, to walk the route, which is an average of 20.7 miles per day.  I embark on this walk and open myself to the opportunity to strengthen my perseverance and acceptance of my path in life.  I also hope this walk inspires you to continue to develop strategies and habits that work for you.

Sharing my goals of my walk on social media has already started conversations about mental health and I’d like to keep the chatter going!  I would also like to raise money for the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that funds research on mental health and addiction.  The more we know, the more we can accept and love our journey.  Please consider donating in support.  All money raised will go directly to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

If you would like to follow my walk or talk to me about your own mental health journey, I am on Instagram @walkingacrossmichigan and on Facebook, Paul Andrew.  More information about the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation can be found on their website, www.bbrfoundation.org.

Tips and strategies I use to improve my mental health:

-Positive affirmations. I am strong. I am patient. I am loving. I am health.

-Paying attention to my internal dialogue and changing the way I talk to myself when it is negative.

-Noticing my “symptoms” of when I become stressed (e.g., increased heart rate, eyes become sensitive to light).

-Treating myself the way I treat my loved ones.

-Remembering even the most unpleasant feelings are temporary.
  • Anonymous 
    • $300 
    • 24 mos
  • Nancy Dauphinais 
    • $25 
    • 27 mos
  • Patricia Sabin 
    • $50 
    • 27 mos
  • Mary Laatsch 
    • $50 
    • 27 mos
  • Kathryn Grow 
    • $25 
    • 27 mos
See all


Paul TenHarmsel 
Portland, MI
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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