Mercer Student Organizes Fun Run in Tattnall Square Park to Raise Awareness for Mental Health

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Tattnall Square Park

MACON – Registration is now open for the Run, Roll, Ride Fun Run, a free public event designed to raise awareness about mental health resources in Middle Georgia. Mercer University student Alfred Troy organized the fun run, which will take place April 21, 9-11 a.m., in Tattnall Square Park.

The Run, Roll, Ride Fun Run is a family-friendly event that provides participants the opportunity to “do their joy.” Participants may run, walk, ride bikes, dance, play music or do any activity that brings them joy and is a healthy outlet for stress management.

Area service providers will be available to raise awareness about mental health resources available in Middle Georgia.

Troy, a junior ROTC student, was awarded funding for this event through the University’s Research that Reaches Out Office. Mercer’s ROTC program is also providing support.

“We are so proud of Alfred and continually impressed by his level of organization and professionalism,” said Hannah Vann, associate director of Research that Reaches Out and Troy’s project adviser. “His passion is infectious. He cares deeply about reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and increasing people’s awareness about resources to help. His was one of just seven student projects selected for funding this year. We can’t wait to see him execute his idea on April 21.”

“The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that depression and anxiety affect 56.1 million people in a given year. That’s roughly 1 in 5 Americans,” said Troy. “Only 36.9 percent of that population actually seek treatment. I believe the problem isn’t lack of resources, money or efforts to solve the issue; I think it’s lack of awareness to the resources available and fear of the negative stigmas associated with seeking treatment.”

Event details and registration information is available online at qep.mercer.edu. Online registration will remain open until April 18, and walk-up registration will be available on site.

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Kyle Sears