From Walking in the Deep End to Walking in the Light

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Houstonians launch a new chapter of The Walk for Mental Health to be held at Stude Park on Saturday, October 15, 2011.

...stigma, secrets and shame are enemies of mental health." - Susan Parker

Steve Curran, Founder of The Walk and Houston Walk President, Patrick McIlvain joined the Board for a kick-off celebration and announced October 15, 2011 as the date of the First Annual Houston Walk for Mental Health to be held in Stude Park.

Author and Board member, Susan Parker was also on hand to share her story.

“At forty one, my father’s sister jumped off an overpass to her death. Years later my mother’s sister, also forty-one, took her own life. The number 41 showed up again when, during the weekend of my eleventh birthday, my father, who was 41 at the time, took an overdose and I was left to walk him around the room until the ambulance arrived. The worst part? No one mentioned it. Shame and stigma kept us silent.”

Susan says stigma, secrets and shame are the enemies of mental health and she is now on a mission to de-stigmatize depression and other mental health disorders. She also said that when she was 41, she too considered taking that same dark path, but has since found peace and joy in her life.

“Now I no longer walk in the deep end, but in the light of honesty about my struggles and my triumphs. Depression is the number one disability in the world---yet there is still a stigma attached to it. We need to stop pretending and get real and raise funds to stamp out stigma so more people seek help. I’m so proud of Board President Patrick McIlvain and his tenacity in establishing this chapter and honored to be speaking alongside The Walk Founder, Steve Curran.”

Copies of her book, Walking in the Deep End, were sold with 100% of proceeds benefiting the Houston Chapter. Parker has extended the offer and during the month of March, will donate 50% of all future sales purchased through friends of The Walk via her website. To take advantage of this offer, email her at susan(at)walkinginthedeepend(dot)com.

Susan Parker is a Consultant for a leading workplace Diversity and Inclusion firm headquartered in New York. She is the author of Walking in the Deep End, a memoir about her road to self discovery and triumph over secrets and shame. She speaks on college campuses and to organizations across the US. Learn more at http://www.walkinginthedeepend.com. Susan can be reached at susan(at)walkinginthedeepend(dot)com and http://www.facebook.com/susanparkerauthor.     

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