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Grand Rapids woman encourages people struggling with mental health issues to get out and run

May 12, 2017

 

Mental health therapy can take many forms. But what about running?

Sasha Wolff founded a group called “Still I Run.” The group's goal is to encourage people struggling with mental health issues to get out and run. She spoke to Stateside about running for mental health.

A couple years ago, Wolff checked into Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. After she got home, she started running as part of her treatment. She said she started feeling better.

"I figured I can't be the only one out there running for my mental health. And I want to share this message with everyone," Wolff said.

The name "Still I Run" is inspired by the Maya Angelou poem, "Still I Rise."

Wolff said having a community is really important to runners, especially when people are just starting out.

"People from around the state and around the country are interacting with us on Facebook and Instagram and sharing their stories of mental health and running on our website," Wolff said.

Social media has made this "real-time community" possible, she said. Hearing other people's stories of running for their mental health, she said, "it keeps me going."

On Saturday, May 13, the 40th Annual Fifth Third River Bank Run takes place in Grand Rapids in support of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and other charities. 

Listen to the full conversation above.

Minding Michigan is Stateside’s ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state.

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