KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Tucson cross fit gym promotes workout to help raise awareness for mental illnesses

May in Mental Health Awareness month
Posted at 10:16 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 01:16:36-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Marcin Makselan straps on a 45 pound weighted vest around his body. He's doing this to get ready for the 'Chad' work out, which consists of doing a 1,000 steps up and down on an elevated surface.

This work out is part of a challenge Crossfit 520 is doing to help promote mental health awareness month during May. The workout is in honor of a veteran named Chad, who died last year.

"Chad Wilkinson took his own life last year, and we see this as an opportunity to bring awareness to that fact," Makselan said.

Since he was a veteran, Makselan said they're using this challenge to help get donations for the Navy Seal Foundation to help other veterans like Wilikinson.

With this workout, he said they want to send this message.

"Even though we go through our own lives, we all have our own struggles, and we want to address that," Makselan said.

A new study shows millennials are more depressed than they may think.

This study was done by Blue Cross Blue Shield, comparing Millennials to Generation X, the generation right before them, when they were in the same age range. The report focuses on 55 million millennial Americans that are commercially insured.

The study shows 31% of this group had depression. This was the largest health concern in this generation.

H. Clarke Romans, Executive Director of Southern Arizona's National Alliance of Mental Health Alliance, adds that this may not because there's more depression, but because more people are coming forward about their depression. One of the biggest reasons for people coming forward, people are talking about mental illnesses through media.

Southern Arizona's National Alliance of Mental Health Alliance said stress is one of the biggest reasons for depression and other mental illnesses.

"Since stigma is such an enormous blanket on people seeking help, talking about it, or anything else," Romans said.

He said talking about mental illnesses, helps normalize it, making it easier for people to come over and seek help.

Experts said one of the reason behind the number is the stigma behind mental illness.

"The only way to observe mental illnesses is by behavioral," Romans said.

The lack of visible evidence, he said, makes people doubt the disease.

"It's okay to have a broken bone," Romans said. "It's okay to have a cold or these days the measles, but it's not okay to have a mental illness."

To help the message of mental health awareness month, Crossfit 520 encourages everyone to get involved with this work out. They said it can be done after class in the gym, at home, at the park, etc.

More on this work out and how you can get involved, visit the website here.