- Thanks to The Mental Health Association of Westchester County for posting this announcement. You can post your news to Patch, by for detailed instructions.
Three hundred runners, walkers and friends came together in support of The Mental Health Association of Westchester County, Inc. (MHA) and to promote awareness of the importance of mental health on Sunday, May 6, at Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Yorktown Heights.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey helped kick-off the festivities, which included music, food, entertainment and awards, saying: “We have to do even more with mental health research in Washington and I will take back that message. We need to resolve the issues that cause mental illness. We will continue fighting together.”
Special guests Gerri Willis, host, The Willis Report, Fox Business Network and Lou Young, Emmy award winning CBS News Reporter, both longtime supporters of MHA on the move: Run/Walk, were at the starting line to cheer on the runners; and Sarah Hreyo, Miss Westchester, was on hand giving out ribbons to the winners of the Kids’ Race.
“On this morning, our community stands together in support of MHA, in support of accessible mental health services and in solidarity with all those who care about serving and supporting the individuals and families that turn to us,” said Dr. Amy Kohn, MHA CEO.
“Awareness of mental health is critical. This year’s May is Mental Health Month campaign is Do More for 1 in 4 because the statistics can be alarming: One in four Americans will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year, nearly 60 million people. We know that mental health issues are treatable and can be prevented. Unfortunately, 50% of those who are living with a mental health condition never seek or receive help due to stigma, lack of information, cost, or lack of health care insurance coverage.”
Eighth-grader Mike Sabath of Katonah fired up the crowd with the premiere of his new song, Talk About It, which he wrote, arranged and recorded to raise awareness of the stigma that is often associated with having a mental illness.
All proceeds from the sale of Talk About It, available for purchase on iTunes, will benefit MHA.
Special thanks go to the Westchester Emergency Communications Association (WECA), whose volunteer members donated their time to patrol the race course and ensure runner and walker safety.
MHA on the move: Run/Walk Sponsors
Astra Zeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, KStone Partners LLC, Culturame, TD Bank, Tarrytown Honda
Media Sponsors: WFAS Radio103.9; Westchester County Business Journal; Optimum
Why they Run and Support MHA
Westchester residents Karen Bloom and her niece Lori Zakalik joined the cause this year as MHA on the move: Run/Walk Ambassadors because of their belief in MHA’s mission and their personal experience with mental illness. Writing in MHA’s blog, Karen, whose father was diagnosed with schizophrenia said she “saw first-hand the myriad challenges he faced every single day...I support the work of MHA because I believe it is essential that individuals suffering from mental illness, and their families, not feel alone.”
MHA is a community-based mental health agency that has been helping Westchester County residents for 66 years through direct services, professional and community education and advocacy. MHA supports 20,000 individuals annually through a comprehensive array of mental health services for all ages at licensed mental health clinics, and to best meet each individual’s need, at home or at a community location. MHA strives to help each individual to achieve their personal goals and to lead an independent, healthy and successful life in the community. For information on critical mental health issues and MHA services visit www.mhawestchester.org or MHA on Facebook and Twitter.