In late January 2017, Samantha Mangum will be combing two of her passions: climbing the highest mountains in the world and helping her clients with a diagnosis of mental illness develop life skills.
Mangum, who is a clinical case manager at Mental Health Partners in Boulder is on a quest to reduce the negative social judgments that are often associated with mental illness. She’s also hoping to raise money to support MHP’s programs that will assist clients in developing and using skills for community interaction and employment.
“I had this idea to connect my passion for climbing to raise awareness for mental health stigma which I found as I’ve been working throughout Mental Health Partners, how huge it is, everywhere, not just in Boulder.”
Mangum is hoping to raise $50,000 in total. $25,000 would go directly to client services at MHP and the rest would go towards community education programs which include a speaker series and a mental health first aid course. “I think it will look like how to deescalate someone if you run into a situation where mental health is present. It’ll look into a lot of the statistics around mental health and that education on what it really means.”
Mangum will tackle her 17-day expedition beginning in late January 2017. This is her second attempt to reach the summit, the first being thwarted by bad weather within 300 feet of the summit. She has already climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia. Part of the Andes mountain range in Argentina, Aconcagua is the highest point in Western and Southern Hemispheres at 22,841 feet. To take advantage of the summertime weather in South America, Sam will tackle this 17-day expedition beginning in late January 2017.