W. MI native travels US, addresses mental health challenges

Ottawa County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan native is working to raise awareness about mental health by making his way across the U.S. in an RV.

“We were realizing that a lot of people were experiencing depression and anxiety on a level like no other with this pandemic we’ve been having, with COVID-19, and so we decided to travel around the country in our RV,” said Billy Gains, founder and CEO of Battle of the Gains.

He started the organization in West Michigan back in 2016. It aims to help people overcome mental health challenges and make gains in all aspects of their lives. Gains is now taking the movement across the country.

“We’re really excited to be here in West Michigan, our 35th stop around the country, and we’ve got another 15 states to go,” Gains said.

The main focus of his U.S. Gains Tour is connecting high school and college-aged students with resources to overcome mental health battles.

“I know a lot of them are experiencing stress and anxiety, and so we’re really trying to reach out to them. And that’s why we’re doing this trip around America to go and meet people where they’re at and just get a scope of America, just get a feel for the country and see how we can help people,” Gains said.

That includes making sure people know they’re not alone in their struggles.

“It’s so crazy traveling the country right now just because of how divided we are on so many different issues, but the one thing that we’re not divided on is that everybody experienced the pandemic one way or another. Everybody is going through something,” Gains said.

Billy says his goal after the trip is to put together hundreds of resources across the country and start up Battle of the Gains chapters in each state to help equip people to be successful.

“The battle is every single day, but we want to help people win the war in life and we’re trying to make gains in every single aspect of our life, and we relate that to success and everybody wants to be successful,” Gains said. “And so, we’re just trying to help people overcome those battles and that’s why we’re where we’re at today.”

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