A Reel Long Walk for Mental Health Awareness

Remember that catchy tune about the dude who was willing to not only walk 500 miles, but add another 500 miles. That’s right. 1,000 miles. And what for, you ask? Why, a lady of course. He would walk 1,000 miles for a lady.

But what does that do? Seriously.

In real life, this seems preposterous, right? To walk that far just to be like, “I walked 500 hundred miles, then 500 more to get here. So…can I come in for a minute?” The more I think about it, that would be disturbingly creepy in real life. But it’s just a song–we cool. Just a song, and a good one at that. Overplayed back in “the day” probably. But that’s neither here nor there. In real life (or Reel life, as it says in the title (more on that in juuuuuust a moment)) there’s a much better use of all those steps.

And on that note, let’s talk about…

Rissa Reel walked 800 miles for mental health awareness. She talked about it on Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered.

Rissa Reel

Rissa Reel appeared on episode 149 of Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered. She talked about growing up abused and neglected as a child who was also tasked with raising her siblings. Later she would be the victim in abusive relationships, survive 2 suicide attempts, an attempted homicide, all while struggling with her mental health. But, one day she decided she wasn’t going to live like that anymore.

Things Started to Change

Rissa moved to Michigan, where she has some family, and now at 26, she recently completed a walk to raise awareness for mental health and to end the stigma surrounding mental health. An EIGHT-HUNDRED MILE WALK! The original plan was to walk from Burton, MI to California. But after 54 days of walking Rissa decided to end the trip in Kansas City.

The Takeaway

Rissa wasn’t hung up on the what ifs, but rather focused on the positives. Particularly the idea that the magic is in the journey, not the destination. During her appearance on Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered she talked about the different people she met along her trek. People who would walk up and start pouring out their life stories to her, a total stranger, walking in the name of mental health. Knowing that her walk–regardless of the distance, starting, and ending points–inspired and gave people hope for a better future meant that her mission was accomplished.

Moving Forward

Remember that you’re not alone and that though no two situations are exactly the same…


Look for a therapist, an app, an online support group, or someone you trust. Don’t feel like you have to suffer whatever you’re going through alone or in silence.

Thanks Thread Heads!

Make sure you listen to the Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered, check out the website and blog, and keep looking for new episodes every Friday wherever you get podcasts! If you’re social media minded, check out the show’s social media. If you like the show, you can support the podcast on Buy Me A Coffee.

I hope you check out the last podcast with Rissa, enjoyed what you read, and “tune in”–or whatever the youths say nowadays–when new episodes drop every Friday.

Peace out homies.


Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this? High fiveFollow me here:

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