Stop the Stigma Virtual 5K Raises $65,000 for Mental Health
When it became clear in April that holding a large road race was not going to be feasible due to public health concerns, Interfaith Social Services quickly pivoted to organizing a virtual event for their annual Stop the Stigma 5K race. It was imperative to continue the fundraiser, which raises money for Interfaith’s New Directions Counseling Center, as the Center’s therapists were receiving more and more calls for help from people dealing with fear and anxiety from the coronavirus pandemic.
The community rallied and came together to raise more than $65,000 from 750 donors across the country. Supporters signed up to run or walk a 5K route of their choice on Memorial Day weekend and many solicited donations from their friends and family to support their efforts. To maintain the community feel of the event, participants shared photos of themselves during or after their run.
The outpouring of support exceeded all expectations as runners as far as Hawaii and south Florida pounded the pavement with the mission of stopping the stigma. Funds raised will allow New Directions’ therapists to provide more than 2,200 counseling sessions.
The Stop the Stigma 5K, in its 46th year, is held annually to erase stigmas surrounding mental illness and addiction and to support family, friends, and neighbors affected by these issues. All proceeds benefit Interfaith’s New Directions Counseling Center. New Directions serves anyone seeking counseling but prides itself on being a safety net for the uninsured and underinsured members of the community. The Center makes mental health care accessible to everyone by offering a sliding scale payment system.
The Stop the Stigma 5K is supported by many generous local businesses, including top-level “5K”, sponsors Arbella Insurance Foundation and The Heritage Companies, as well as gold sponsors IntelyCare and J. Calnan and Associates and silver sponsors Bay State Federal Savings Charitable Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Bridgewater Credit Union, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Plymouth Quarries, South Shore Health and St. Vincent de Paul Society.
To view photos from the event or to make a contribution visit StopTheStigma5K.org.