What is the Defeat the Stigma Run?

Defeat the Stigma Run was founded by Julio Salazar who works hard to break the stereotypes associated with mental illness.  We asked Julio what motivated him to start the run for mental health...

“I hid my depression and anxiety for so long because I didn’t want to talk about it. Talking about it was too much of a risk. I was afraid of being labeled and being treated differently.

But, truthfully, I am a much better person now that I have chosen to open up and face my struggle with depression head on. I am very proud of how much I have accomplished since I opened up and asked for help. I am a better family man and a better friend because of my decision to reveal what I was dealing with and to look for the help I needed to begin to heal.

I understand why people are afraid to talk about mental illness. I’ve certainly been in that position. But unless we do something to break the stigma, we’ll continue to struggle. Sharing our experiences with mental illness is a place to start.”

Last year Julio ran across Minnesota, this year he chose Wisconsin!

Julio and a team of three runners and two crew members will be running 300 miles across the State of Wisconsin to bring awareness to mental illness and suicide prevention. 

The seven day run starts in Algoma, WI and finishes in Hudson, WI on May 14. Throughout the seven day journey they will run on average 42 miles per day, their route will include stops at local schools and community organizations. You can find more information about the route at www.defeatthestigmaproject.org.

Where will they be and when?

Saturday, May 7     Algoma, Rankin, Casco, Luxemburg, New Franken, Green Bay

Sunday, May 8       Green Bay, Howard, Anston, Pulaski, Zachow, Bonduel, Shawano

Monday, May 9     Shawano, Lyndhurst, Bowler, Eland, Norrie, Hatley, Ringle

Tuesday, May 10    Ringle, Weston, Schofield, Wausau, Rib Falls, Milan

Wednesday, May 11     Milan, Abbotsford, Curtiss, Withee, Lombard, Thorp, Stanley

Thursday, May 12       Stanley, Chippewa Falls, Howard, Albertville (* we are passing North of Cadott)

Friday, May 13            Albertville, Cedar Falls, Khapp, Wilson (*passing North of Menomonie)

Saturday, May 14       Wilson, Hersey, Baldwin, Hammond, Hudson

How can I help?

  • Help raise awareness and funds! Friend the run on Facebook and share posts.
  • Become an everyday hero by sponsoring a leg of the run, that’s $42.00!
  • Join along the route and have your photo taken with a runner and post it to show your support.
  • Use hashtags:  #defeatthestigma #zerostigma #mhawisconsin
  • Sponsor a rest stop in your town. Find a spot, set up water and snacks and make signs to support the runners as they stop at your station. To make sure you are on the route, you can connect with Julio Salazar directly.

100% of proceeds support suicide prevention efforts in our state. Donations are 100% tax deductible.