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Community Races to Stop the Stigma

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March 28, 2017
Interfaith Social Services’ to host their 43rd Annual South Shore Walk & 5K Race on April 29th; funds will support community members affected by mental illness and addiction.
Quincy, Massachusetts (March 23, 2017) – Depression. Addiction. Anxiety. These illnesses affect one in five adults every year. On April 29, participants in Interfaith Social Services’ South Shore Walk & 5K race will lace up to challenge the stereotypes of these illnesses as they run and walk to raise funds for Interfaith’s New Directions Counseling Center.
“It shameful that there are stigmas associated with addiction, depression and other mental health issues,” said Rick Doane, executive director of Interfaith Social Services. “People talk openly about their struggles with ailments like diabetes and cancer. However, many keep mental illness under wraps.”
Interfaith is inviting participants take part in their 5K race to take a stand against these stigmas. “This race gives us an opportunity to proclaim that there is no shame in mental illness,” said Doane. “Walkers and runners fill the streets of Quincy. We walk, run and rally with family, friends and others to show those who are suffering that they can hold their heads high, their community stands with them.”
Registration is now open for the race, a scenic and challenging 5K course through Quincy’s Squantum and Marina Bay neighborhoods. The Boston skyline and Dorchester Bay serve as a picturesque backdrop on this sometimes hilly but well-paved course, which starts at The Kennedy Center in Quincy.
Families are encouraged to join runners and walkers after the race for a Family Fun Celebration at The Kennedy Center. The celebration will include a kids’ Fun Run, music, a bounce house, face painting and more. The New England Revolution Battalion (the street team for Revolution Soccer) and Dave & Busters will provide additional games and prizes. Pizza and snacks will be available for all participants as well as chilly treats from New England Ice Cream. Runners can relax with a neck and shoulder massage from Body Benefit Massage Therapy. Visit InterfaithSocialServices.org/WalkAnd5k to register.
All race proceeds benefit Interfaith’s New Directions Counseling Center, which is in its 70th year of offering compassionate and skilled counseling to the South Shore. New Directions is a safety net for the community, ensuring that anyone can receive care, regardless of health insurance status or income. While Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of insured residents in the nation, there are still nearly 9,000 South Shore residents without health insurance. New Directions serves this population and all of the other underinsured residents, who cannot afford the copays by their carriers.
“Regardless of income, insurance status or diagnosis, Interfaith’s therapists stand ready to serve anyone who comes to us for assistance,” said Doane. “All proceeds from the South Shore Walk & 5K Race go directly to providing care for those with no place else to turn for help.”
The South Shore Walk & 5K Race is supported by many local businesses, including platinum sponsors: Arbella Insurance and BMC HealthNet Plan, and gold sponsor Quincy College. For more information about the South Shore Walk & 5K Race contact Interfaith’s Director of Development Paula Daniels at 617-773-6203 ext. 28 or pdaniels@interfaithsocialservices.org.
Rick Doane, Executive Director - Interfaith Social Services