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May is Mental Health Awareness Month


Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month? For 75 years, communities across the United States have come together this month to address mental health challenges, eradicate stigma, provide education, and offer support and encouragement to those seeking better mental health.


Our local running community is dedicated to this national movement. That’s why Twin Cities in Motion and Mile in My Shoes are teaming up to host a discussion on the “Intersection of Mental Health and Running.” The conversation – featuring local runners and mental health professionals – will explore the power of running and movement in improving mental health. (Learn more here.)


Every day people discover the healing and life-giving power of running. In her recent book, Good for a Girl, runner and coach Lauren Fleshman writes, “My world got a lot bigger through the sport of running. And I also loved that when you run alongside somebody, you can have a more vulnerable, honest conversation. There’s something that just opens you up with the movement.”


As runners, we know what Lauren’s talking about, don’t we? We all have our own running stories about how this sport has improved our mental health. We know running can be a deeply personal and therapeutic experience. And as both a runner and mental health therapist, I’ve seen the impact running can make in the lives of my clients – physically, mentally, and emotionally.


How has running improved your mental health? Have you experienced feelings of calm during a run or moments of peace or maybe relaxed thinking? Has running provided you with stress relief or a time for emotional release? Maybe running has aided in more social connection with others and richer conversations about life?


Asking ourselves and each other these questions, and sharing our own stories of how running has improved our lives, is a great way to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. That’s why we’re coming together this month as a running community to share our running stories, discuss how running has affected our mental health, and have an honest conversation around the power of movement.


 

Katie Mark is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who owns On the Mark Therapy, LLC. Katie provides mental health therapy while running and / or walking with her clients in nature. She is one of the team of Motion Experts TCM has gathered to help its subscribers and participants get the most out of their running. You can contact Katie about her private therapy practice at [email protected] .

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