OC Mental Health Association hosting first annual color run at Veteran’s Park
Have you ever been to a color run? Your chance to do so and support a worthy cause is right around the corner.
The first annual 'Color Fest' hosted by the Mental Health Association of Ocean County is being held to raise awareness about mental health issues.
MHA director Rachael O'Dea says holding color fest is a great way to show the diversity associated with mental health.
"I wanted to have an event that brought the community together to let everyone know about the services that we're offering," O'Dea said. "What struck me at first was how mental health and substance abuse doesn't go after one specific race, ethnicity or age range, it is non-discriminatory and it affects everybody."
O'Dea says color fest is about helping eliminate the judgments thrown at someone by educating the public on the unknown.
"I think fear of mental health or the stigma from that comes from a fear of the unknown and I think education is the best way to battle that back," O'Dea said. "It's to educate people and make them understand that this is something that many go through and that it's not a weakness."
The MHAOC also offers peer support programs so you don't have to feel alone in your fight or effort to get better or feel like yourself again.
O'Dea wants to relay the message over to those in need of help but afraid to say anything, that there's no shame in asking for help.
"I think the biggest thing right now is the fear, the fear that asking for help is a sign of weakness when actually identifying something in your life that you might need help with is actually a strength," O'Dea said.
She says getting help for yourself isn't just to cope with large scale issues but the small things as well you would like to address.
"There's no stresser that's too big or too small that someone can reach out for help on," O'Dea said. "If you feel that you're struggling in any way, shape or form and think that reaching out would be helpful to you, that's what we want to promote."
She says the original intent for the event was for it to just be a color run, but then came another idea.
"I started thinking that I really wanted to reach out to the children and make sure that they too are aware of what's going on and their families are aware of what's going on and how we can best support them," O'Dea said. "So I thought, let's make this an entire color fest."
Outside the color run there will be coloring stations and sand art for the kids.
Color Fest 2018 will be held on October 6, 2018 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at Veteran's Park, 489 Forrest Hills Parkway, Bayville, New Jersey, 08721.
You will need to register for the event in order to attend as well.
For more information on how to register, head to their eventbrite page.
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