One of the sad realities in society today and it is quite prevalent in Western New York is the stigma associated with those suffering from any type of mental illness. It is so sad many people are uncomfortable speaking about a loved one who suffers from depression, anxiety or any mental illness.
I do not know if this has reached the epidemic levels heroin and opiad abuse has but it is a serious problem. That is apparent by the number of patients the extremely well respected psychiatric department at the Erie County Medical Center sees daily.
The Mental Health Assn. of Erie County, under the leadership of Ken Houseknecht, its Executive Director, is on the front lines of the battle to help the many youth, teens, adults, seniors and veterans suffering from a mental illness.
One of Ken’s team members, Carol Doggett, Director of Community Awareness, is spearheading a team to break down the stigma through a campaign called justtellone.org. Check out that website for some amazing stories and places to go if you know someone who suffers.
On Friday, June 9 at 6:30 p.m. in Delaware Park, with check in and the post-race party at St. George’s Orthodox Church, 2 Nottingham Terrace, the 2017 Superhero Race and Family Wellness Walk will be held to promote awareness and raise funds for children living with mental health challenges. Funds will be divided equally between the Mental Health Assn. and Compeer of Buffalo, Inc.
Since 1985, this annual sanctioned 5K race and walk provides the opportunity for people to show their support and to “save the day” by helping to raise funds and awareness for mentorship and advocacy programs.
Registration for the race has begun and the post-race party features a live band, food, beverages and a kids’ recreation area. In honor of President’s Day weekend, you can click to this link and register with the promo code PREZ and receive a 25 percent discount – https://raceroster.com/events/2017/10730/buffalo-superhero-race
Once you open the link, scroll down and take the quiz—Name 12 presidents with mental health challenges. That proves that it is possible to be a successful leader with these challenges, if they are recognized and treated.
“What we have found is that everyone with mental health challenges needs a hero to follow but these are such special people that we are all Superheroes to them,” Houseknecht says in explaining the concept behind the Superhero race.
It is so wonderful to see established, experienced and serious runners participate dressed as their favorite Superhero.
“It is so wonderful to see established, experienced and serious runners participate dressed as their favorite Superhero or to see a family come dressed up and walking the route with friends and then enjoying the party afterwards. We have display tables from all of the providers around so people can take what they like and talk to experts without feeling ashamed,” he continues.
ECMC returns as the Title Sponsor and Rich Products and the Buffalo Bisons are Premier Sponsors with Business First and WBBZ media presenters.
The Superhero Alliance will be to lead the race and walk and to interact with the kids so Housekneckt encourages everyone to “Tie your cape, pick up your mask and join us on June 9.”
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