Second Butterfly Walk coming in May

Published 10:37 pm Monday, April 30, 2018

JAKAFI Behavioral Care Center will sponsor its second annual Butterfly Walk for mental health and trauma awareness on May 19.

“I think it will help the community,” said JAKAFI Clinical Supervisor Jennifer Kinzie-Schipper. “It brings the community together when they need support.”

Kinzie-Schipper is the founder of the event, and her personal life influenced the event.

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“I was working with so many individuals over the course of several years, and there are so many young people diagnosed with a disease and their trauma hasn’t been looked at,” Kinzie-Schipper said. “Kids get put on medications and bounced from program to program, and their trauma was never addressed.”

Educating and treating trauma became her purpose, and part of the education was developing the Butterfly Walk.

The 1.2-mile walk will take participants through downtown Suffolk, starting at the JAKAFI office, 495 Carolina Road. At the end of the walk, everyone will gather back at the office for activities and more information.

A main part of the walk is to bring awareness to the trauma part of mental health. Occasionally, mental health problems can be misdiagnosed, according to Kinzie-Schipper.

“People get put on medications that will only mask certain things, and they have so many side effects,” Kinzie-Schipper said.

After the walk, the center will have an open house with group activities. Groups will plant seeds outside and have discussions about personal growth, and other people can participate in yoga activities and learn how to be mindful.

“I’m a very metaphorical person, but it will offer them a place where they can feel safe,” Kinzie-Schipper said.

They won’t be doing any kind of counseling at the session, but they will have plenty of literature available for those that attend.

“This is a more hopeful way to look at treatment,” Kinzie-Schipper said.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. on May 19 at the JAKAFI Center, and everyone will begin walking at 10 a.m. All ages are welcome at the event. More information can be found at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jakafi-2nd-annual-butterfly-walk-for-trauma-and-mental-health-awareness-tickets-45651436676.