ABBEVILLE, Ala. (WTVY) -- One woman is walking across the entire United States with a goal of bringing awareness to mental health and the foster care system.
Walking Against Depression - a coast to coast journey where Nicole Stevenson hopes to pursue a happier and healthier life.
"For 3 reasons, my first is self healing, my second reason is to bring awareness to the foster care system, it's a broken system and I feel like we can do better as a community for the children and number 3 is the mental health issues that go along with it such as anxiety and depression," Nicole Stevenson, Walker/creator of Walking Against Depression said.
And Stevenson knows first hand what that feels like....
"I grew up in the system, I was separated from my siblings, I endured more atrocities than I had with my parents, and it was just a nightmare, it was a complete nightmare. so it really is something that means the world to me, it touches my heart," Stevenson said.
Stevenson walks 15-20 miles a day.... She is now 2 months into her walk, starting in Edisto Beach, South Carolina and now that she's made it to Abbeville, Alabama.... people have started to take notice.
"It means the world to me because that's the whole point of this to get the message out that were not alone. And we need to come together as a community, and be there for each other and speak up, and rise up, and do better for our children, and do better for the adults that are going through whatever is they're going through," Stevenson said.
But the journey isn't just abut bringing awareness.... The wife and mother to 7 children wants to bring hope to those who need it most.
"Just kindness or me knocking on someones door or whatever you know, just a place to be safe and secure and to make a connection with people because I want to hear their stories because I want to share my stories I'm more estimating a year but whatever it takes it takes," Stevenson said.
Stevenson estimates it will be take a year to complete her walk, ending in either Oregon or California.
For more information on Stevenson's journey you can visit her Facebook page "Walking Against Depression."