Yonkers man walks to Albany to fight mental illness

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YONKERS -

A Yonkers community activist isn't just talking the talk to promote mental health awareness-- he's walking the walk.

Hector Santiago, 29, is lacing up his sneakers and walking to Albany to raise awareness about an issue that affects one in five Americans. He says he battled depression at an early age. 

"I want to say depression somewhat made me successful because I was so scared to be alone with my own thoughts that I dedicated myself to the community," he says.

Santiago says he is setting out on the 140-mile journey on foot to highlight the dangers of ignoring mental illness and the critical need for more funding of services.  

"If we start meeting our  [mentally ill]  community members now, we can probably get to them before something else happens. Or help them get some resources…just by stopping and shaking and 
introducing yourself,' says Santiago.

Santiago tells News 12 that once he gets to Albany, he hopes to sit down with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to discuss allocating more funds for mental health services.

Anyone that wishes to follow his journey can check out his Facebook page.
 

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