The Cody Medical Foundation hosted an event Saturday to raise awareness for mental health issues in Park County.
Around 170 people gathered at Beck Lake Park on Saturday morning for the annual Beck Lake Challenge. Although the day was hot, walkers, runners, bikers, strollers and roller skaters made their way around Markham and New Cody Reservoirs, to be rewarded with a commemorative medal and a free lunch afterwards.
The event was not a race, it was an awareness activity, according to Dawn Garrison, director of the Heart Mountain Free Clinic. Garrison told KODI’s Partyline audience that outdoor activity and exercise are important components in relieving stress – which studies have shown can impact the mental health of children and adults.
Prior to the start of the event, volunteer Wardi Reber and her sister Rusty Hughes spoke to the crowd about the importance of supporting those who are suffering from depression and mental illness, reading off a list of names of Park County residents whose lives were cut short by suicide. And a co-sponsor of the event was the Banks family, whose son David took his own life several years ago.
Local health providers and support services such as the Heart Mountain Free Clinic and NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, were also on hand to provide information about the services they offer.