Crow Wing Energized is excited to announce its first-ever Move it for Mental Health virtual event.

The goals of the event are to get people moving, reduce the stigma around mental health and raise some funds to continue supporting mental health work in our community.

Studies show physical activity increases your self-esteem, builds resilience, provides better sleep, increases energy and decreases stress. Regular physical activity impacts depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and more.

“I move it for mental health because I feel it’s important to continue to talk openly about mental illness to build awareness and make us more compassionate human beings. We need to take care of ourselves and our loved ones both physically and emotionally. My goal is to walk 5K as a family in the first virtual race sponsored by Crow Wing Energized,” said Karen Johnson, program director, community health, Crow Wing Energized.

Karen Johnson, program director community health, with Crow Wing Energized. Submitted photo
Karen Johnson, program director community health, with Crow Wing Energized. Submitted photo

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During this event, we are encouraging people to find an activity that makes them move and that they enjoy, that equals 1 mile, 5K or 10K. Unlike a traditional race, this is more about you moving instead of being competitive. Go at your own pace and do it however you want; kayak, roller blade, run, walk, skip or hop. There will be a playlist you can listen to that will be motivational and uplifting.

What does it mean to reduce the stigma around mental health? We want people to recognize that mental illness is common and that it is OK to not be OK. Through this event we hope people will share with us their own mental health reflection on their race bib. The bibs will prompt people to share why they move it for mental health. Some examples may be that you move it for mental health for your own anxiety, or for your brother’s PTSD, or that you want to be a part of reducing stigma.

While the event is a way for us to raise funds for Crow Wing Energized to continue providing free training, resources and events in the community, we also wanted to find a way to give back to our community organizations. All participants will have the opportunity to vote for one of five nonprofits. The nonprofit with the most votes will receive a portion of the proceeds.

The five nonprofits are:

  • The Lighthouse Project,

  • Smiles for Jake,

  • Wellness in the Woods,

  • Bridges of Hope,

  • Crisis Line.

We encourage you to regularly check our Facebook during and before the event as we will be highlighting these nonprofits, having Facebook contests for additional prizes and asking for your engagement to make this a community event.

You may be asking yourself, “this is great but how do I sign up?” The answer is easy, go to http://crowwingenergized.org/event/. The event is $30 and you will be receiving a Make it OK T-shirt, neck gaiter/face mask, race bib and other cool swag items. Once you register you will be able to make an additional donation if you’d like. Once you register you will receive an email with a link to make your vote for the nonprofit of your choice. Friday, Sept. 18, we will offer a drive-thru pickup of the race supplies. This will take place from 2-6 p.m. at 303 Kingwood St., Brainerd. Our last chance race pickup will be 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, again at the Kingwood building.