AMES, Iowa — An Ohio man is walking across the country to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. Along the way, he is also raising donations for the behavior health unit at Dayton's Children Hospital.
Today, Joe Hall reached Ames — over 1,000 miles away from where he started in Delaware two months ago, taking it one day at a time.
The inspiration for his journey across the states? A music video.
"I came across the music video online trying to go to sleep one night from Mike Posner called 'Live Before I Die,' that chronicle his walk across the country in 2019. And I was like, 'You know what? I'm gonna do it,'" Hall said.
Hall was diagnosed with depression 15 years ago. And after losing his job and being hospitalized from a motorcycle accident, Hall hit a low place.
He says he tried to commit suicide in 2020 while in the hospital recovering from the accident.
But after he was released, he realized he needed to focus his thoughts on doing something bigger than himself.
"And you know, the title of the song for me personally was enough. When I listen to the lyrics and then at the beginning," Hall said. "You know, he puts up a text block that says 'I walked across the country to become somebody I'm actually proud of,' that kind of hit home for me."
Hall still has 1,835 miles to walk until he gets his end destination of the Golden Gate Bridge. To follow his journey and to donate, click here.
Local 5 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.