Phil Harris and Melany Myers

Charlotte Mental Health Matters 5K And Kids Dash In May

May is 'Mental Health Awareness Month' so it's the perfect month for this amazing event here in Charlotte. 'Mental Health Matters' is hosting a non-profit 5K, Kids Dash and Community Event on May 19 at McAlpine Creek Park. You don't have to be a runner to support this amazing festival. This event is hoping to bring Charlotte folks together to help raise awareness about mental illness, and to reduce the stigma that is associated with it. It's the very 1st Charlotte mental health 5K and kids run. [caption id="attachment_91840" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images[/caption] If you're a runner, the 5K will be a chip timed race. The kids dash will be for fun, but there will be prizes! The entire day if filled with fun! There will be bounce houses, live music, lots of local vendors, food trucks, and more! In addition, there will be mental health resources for everyone to learn about. The event is family friendly, so there will be something for everyone! For those like me, that do NOT run, it would still be amazing if you attended. You can still take part in the festival and those running would love all the support they can get. And the festival is free, so you don't have to take part in the 5K to enjoy all the festivities! Everyone's Mental Health Matters I've shared blogs about my own issues with mental health issues. Since I was a teenager in the 80's, I've dealt with depression. Back then, depression, anxiety, and mental health issues were NOT discussed. I always felt like a weirdo. I bottled up my feelings and eventually developed an eating disorder. Not dealing with the depression lead me down the path of treating my feelings with alcohol. I think that happens often. The overuse of the booze just made me more depressed. In 1988 I overdosed and almost died. I took lots of pills and washed them back with a bottle of Jim Beam. It was my one and only suicide attempt.  That's why I share. I don't want anyone to go through all the crap I did. Mental health and mental illnesses are discussed today, but those who deal with them often still feel alone. Daily we read about young kid, teens, and young adults committing suicide or doing something drastic. All kids, teens, and adults need to know they are NOT alone and that mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of. I'm 54 and still deal with depression. I take two types of meds to deal with my anxiety and depression. It's a constant fight though. And I know it always will be. Helping And Understanding Matters Helping those who are dealing with depression and/or mental illness is important. As is understanding. The more people learn, the better equipped they'll be to help others. As a community, we need to recognize that there should not be a stigma surrounding mental health issues. This event is an amazing step in the right direction, and the more people that attend, the more unified we can be. Obviously, I'm not a health care provider or therapist, but as a person, and as a teacher briefly, I know that asking the right questions and listening is important to kids. Sometimes they just need a listener. As adults, we need to be there for them. You can register for the race here. It begins at 10:30 on Sunday, May 19. The festival will crank up at 11 A.M. All the fun is at McApline Creek Park in Charlotte, NC. Event Address: 8711 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, NC 28212. Volunteers are also needed, so grab your friends, neighbors, and co-workers and come on out! Find out more info here.  [embed][/embed]   [select-listicle listicle_id="392135" syndication_name="7-foods-that-may-calm-your-anxiety" description="yes"]

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