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Walking for MHA, a personal story

A message to Team Giggle On participants and supporters:

With all the excitement and fun planned for Sunday (wait until you see all the clown noses), I want to take a few moments to share the serious and personal side of why I plan to walk for the Mental Health Association this Sunday.

This event is more than clown noses, kazoos, bubbles and raffle prizes.

E-Racing the Blues© is about encouraging people to exercise to improve their mental health, build self-esteem and improve the overall quality of their lives.

I am on a crusade to raise awareness, build community relationships and save lives. Please join me!

The Relationship between Exercise and Depression

Aside from honoring the life of my friend, Jim, who died by suicide, I walk because physical activities like walking, running, swimming and yoga have a real and significant effect on:

  • reducing stress
  • easing symptoms of depression
  • improving disturbed sleep patterns
  • controlling weight
  • improving mood

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can seriously impact an individual’s everyday life and well-being (I know this from first-hand experience).

Mental illness affects families and relationships, overall productivity at home and at work, and impacts our country’s increasing health care costs.  And mental illness, most seriously, is a common factor in relation to suicide.

A new study reported in the journal of Psychosomatic Medicine concluded that the individuals who participated in group or individual exercise routines did as well on questionnaires of depression symptoms as those who were treated with antidepressant drugs.  Source: MHA

Brandywine Park

Regular exercise has been a key component to the management of my depression because it helps me cope with life’s challenges. I walk in Brandywine Park every morning with my dog, Rosie, practice yoga (Hatha and Laughter) and weight train at Fit Fitness. I no longer have a need for anti-depressant medication.

Life is good!

E-Racing the Blues

Your Participation Helps. Thank You!

There is still time to join the team and make a financial contribution. Please visit the Team Giggle On page to contribute. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the MHA. To date we’ve collected $2,950.

With your help the funds raised through the 7th Annual E-Racing the Blues© 5k Run/Walk and 10k Run support the following MHA programs:

  • Education & Prevention Activities, Information & Referral Services, and Depression Screenings — serving thousands of Delawareans in the community, at work, and at school.
  • Statewide Support Groups — serving hundreds of people experiencing depression or anxiety disorders, loss of a loved one to violence or suicide*, and to parents whose children suffer from a mental illness.    *Note: The Support Group for Survivors of Suicide Loss co-facilitated by myself and Kelli Karlton is not funded by or affiliated with MHA. We are currently looking for financial sponsors to help pay for rental space.
  • Delaware’s Statewide Suicide Prevention Plan and Suicide Coalition – co-sponsor with the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.
  • Child Mental Health Matters in Delaware – statewide collaboration with community agencies and school districts to provide comprehensive programming and services focusing on enhanced access to care and educational resources for children, teachers, and parents.
  • Active Minds Program – mental health advocacy and awareness campus organization
  • Educational Conferences for Medical and Mental Health Professionals and the Public – People of Color Mental Health Conferences, Suicide Prevention Conference, May is Mental Health Month events, and Town Hall seminars.
  • Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns – targeting state legislators and business leaders.

I look forward to seeing the walkers, runners and Giggle Ambassadors this Sunday.

Thanks again to all the financial donors who contributed to the team but won’t be able to make it out. I am deeply honored and thankful for your support.

Remember: Don’t Give Up! (on yourself, your dreams or on your life).

Instead…Giggle On..or should I say, Walk On, Bike On, Swim On, Yoga On!

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions!

Christa

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Related:

Team Giggle On E-Races the Blues

9 Tips to Boost Your Mood

Grieve, Give, Giggle

Why I Love Wilmington Park

When a loss becomes a gain

Walk to beat depression and suicide

Wilmington’s Out of the Darkness Walk, photo essay

Comments

  1. I totally agree with you. I know that when I don’t get exercise in for a couple of days, I start to slide.

    See you on Sunday.

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