-Carson Byrd


The Voice of the Urban Millennial

The Millennial Mile was conceptualized by Carson Byrd, during his battles with depression. After dealing with inpatient hospitalization, he realized that the road to recovery was a process and required patience and determination to overcome. Being a former athlete, he leaned on running as a way to overcome his despair, and after disclosing his condition, he realized many people in his generation were dealing with mental health challenges as well. According to a report from outsidersonline.com, 64% of 5k participants are millennials.


Mental health is unique because it’s causes and cures vary from each individual cases. Millennial’s are the largest demographic in the world and last year an estimated one trillion dollars is lost due to people’s individual bouts with depression and anxiety. According to a study released last year, mental health issues are to blame for the loss of 12 billion days of productivity in the 36 largest countries in the world. In other words, anxious and depressed people across the world miss a total of more than 50 million years of work. (World Health Organization). Seeing both the benefit of running as a tool to combat mental health and the shear number of Millennials who participate in 5k runs, the idea of creating a run for awareness was born. Regardless of race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation, mental health is something all millennials, have either experienced or seen someone they know deal with. Instead of running from our problems, let’s

run the “Millennial Mile” together.

Understanding Carson Byrd

When was my AHA moment?

My aha moment was in 2017 when I disclosed my illness to my Facebook friends. I realized I wasn’t alone and the solution for overcoming mental illness was at the forefront of all millennials minds.

How social media had a positive and negative impact on my mind?

Social media has opened doors for me and others with the ability to have access to other individuals all over the world. The negative aspect has been the weaponization of social media as the barometer of success.

How I had to work my way out of depression?

I was admitted into a inpatient facility in 2017. My finances were destroyed due to my inability to function cognitively. I was highly sedated and isolated from family and friends. I was prescribed to stay away from social media and during that process I deleted my instagram ( which was at 13k) I began to gain weight and I started to lose control of my confidence. It was the toughest time in my life. I began to cling to God because I had no one else to lean on. Friends disassociated themselves from me and my business declined. It took 9 months to get a job and I was not fully prepared to go back into society due to shame and guilt I carried from having a mental illness. The creation and planning of this event has given me life again because now I see my pain was for a purpose!

Who is Carson Byrd?

I am millennial who is passionate about the global progression of my generation.

Why is mental health so important to me?

It’s so important to me because my life was directly affected as well as my business. I have lost friends to mental health issues and I would like to honor their lives while preventing further damage to our generation.

What is your connection with Mental Health?

I was diagnosed with depression at 5 years old and I have dealt with bouts of it throughout my life. I had full maniac breakdown in 2017 and 2018.

When did you realize you truly suffered from this?

I realized I was sick in 2016 and I told my mother that I needed help, I found a therapist, but my issues were so advanced that it affected my daily life.

What is your outlook on the digital world?

Mental health is the byproduct of the digital evolution. As human beings we were not created to function like computers.

What impact will this have on our future generation?

Mental health is the health epidemic of the millennial generation. The amount of productivity that will be lost if not probably combated will negatively affect the economy as a whole.

What advice would you give your Millennial Peers?

I would say be patient, enjoy life, find your peace and know that it will get better.

How do you plan to help?

I plan to help by educating and advocating for mental health awareness in our global community.