Stomping Out the Stigma

Be The Change 5K

Be the Change 5k will be returning to Murray’s Chestnut Park for its third year this Saturday, May 19, from 8-11 am. The run/walk helps raise awareness about mental health issues and treatment in our community. Mental illness is often overlooked issue that can lead to addiction, suicide and even community violence.

Bridges Family Center organizes the event and owner, Katrina Coffelt, told me that this event is special to her. “I absolutely love putting this event on!” said Coffelt. “This will be our third year and what appears to be our biggest turn out yet!”

“My staff and I decided to start this event after hearing from people who were entering into counseling. They would tell us ‘I wish I would have done this years ago’, or ‘I don't want people to know that I need counseling because then they will think I'm crazy’.”

“The need for mental health support for mental illness, whether it be medicine or counseling, still has such a stigma. So that many times people put off getting help even when they need it. We have seized an opportunity to try and get the community involved in ‘Stomping Out The Stigma’.”

“We felt if people would show up to a public event in support of others who might have mental illness, or themselves, it could make a difference for someone who may have been afraid to seek help before. Mental illness is not as easy to show up for, as say cancer. People still believe deep down that you should be able to ‘get over it’, ‘pull it together’, etc.”

“Mental illness is often viewed as a weakness instead of an illness. Stress, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, bipolar disorder, ADHD, etc., all have one thing in common; they all impact the quality of our lives. If we don't reach out for help we suffer longer and the quality of life is impacted even greater.  So, we run/walk publicly in support of our mental health, and in support of others who are suffering!”

If you want to ‘Stomp out the Stigma’ sign up for this 5K. The cost to register is $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.

There will be several vendors set up, including tables from NAMI- National Alliance on Mental Illness, Murray Chapter, SPCC- Suicide Prevention Coalition of Calloway County, Tommy Hutchins- Therapy Dog Service, Four Rivers Behavioral Health (4RBH), King Psychological Services, Community Living in Kentucky & Growing Minds Learning Center, and Benchmark Family Services. The Murray Bank Ice Cream Truck will be serving free ice cream at the event.

Transformative Art

Each year there is also some type of transformative art piece. This year the piece will be made up of balloons that spell out the word ‘stigma' which people will then pull off and pop. And in their place they put their handprint which will spell out the word ‘Hope', representing turning stigma into hope.

Visit their Facebook for registration info.

Bridges Family Center

Their mission is to provide quality and excellence in counseling for children, adolescents, and families in our community. They believe in holding all clients in high regard and providing consistent and exceptional care. Their goal is to not just meet with families, but to develop effective strategies and tools to address problems that affect the quality of their lives. They encourage and promote quality of life and are committed to helping individuals and families build their bridge to change.

Visit bridgesfamilycenter.com for more information.