NEW BRITAIN - Community Mental Health Affiliates is hoping residents get out and run later this month to support its services.
CMHA, a nonprofit treatment provider that helps people recover from mental illness and addiction, is hosting its fourth annual “Run for Recovery: Bee a Champion for Mental Health” on Saturday, June 23, at New Britain Stadium.
“The race is to promote awareness and the importance of treatment to support people who seek care but who can’t necessarily afford it on their own. That’s what we want to get across,” said Marie Mormile-Mehler, vice president of planning and performance improvement.
Money raised will help fund the organization’s programs and services.
Many of CMHA’s clients don’t have private insurance, so the organization is one of the first options for them to get the help they need. The organization’s efforts are funded through grants and donations.
CMHA mainly works with people who are recovering from addiction, battling depression or are facing other mental health issues.
“What we’re trying to do is just call attention to the importance of mental health and mental wellness in our community,” Mormile-Mehler said.
Lisa Quinion, a client at CMHA, has seen firsthand how the organization can help people. Quinion’s sister committed suicide years ago and Quinion has dealt with her own mental health issues.
“CMHA saved my life. I could have been like my sister at one time. I would have been if it wasn’t for CMHA,” Quinion said.
Now, about nine years since first joining CMHA in 2009, Quinion is increasingly involved in the organization. The client is part of the organization’s social club, board of governors and more.
“People look up to me today. People depend on me today. There was a time I couldn’t depend on myself,” Quinion said.
There will be plenty of other things to do on June 23, including games, face painting and a bounce house. Sting, mascot of the New Britain Bees baseball team, will be appearing.
Chip’s Family Restaurant will have its pancake truck at the ballpark, and there will also be an ice cream truck and other food options.
Even during a fun-filled day, the message and meaning of CMHA’s annual run will be evident.
“My sister was a victim of suicide, so I’m running for her, I’m running for myself, I’m running for the community and I’m running for CMHA,” Quinion said.
Free prerace and postrace massages are available for runners, and awards will be given in a number of categories. All runners will receive a free ticket to see the Bees game at 6:45 p.m.
Scheduled are a 5K race, a 1.5-mile fitness walk and a fun run for children. The 5K race costs $25, the fitness walk $20 and the fun run $10. Registration ends Thursday, June 21.
For more information on the event or to register, visit www.cmhacc.org .
“The message that we really want to get out is that mental health affects everyone. It doesn’t discriminate based on income or social status,” Mormile-Mehler said. “We can make a difference and we’re here for folks to turn to before it’s too late.”
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.