Wilbraham man organizes 24-hour run for mental health awareness

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – A Wilbraham man is hosting a 24-hour run to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.

Bill Wells will be running for 24 consecutive hours on a portion of Main Street in town to raise awareness about mental health.

“Bill has combined his love and passion for running with advocacy for mental health,” said Kimberly Lee, Vice President of Resource and Branding for the Mental Health Association Inc. of Springfield.

Lee said this is the first time that Bill is hosting the 24-hour run for suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

“Bill talks very openly and freely about his own challenges with mental health, so he’s combining 24 hours of running in order to raise awareness and encourage people who are not feeling well emotionally to get help,” said Lee.

She said that all the funds raised will help support MHA programs which include counseling and therapy through their out-patient support clinic, Best Life.

Wells’ son, Russel Wells, told Western Mass News that his father hopes this event will bring more attention to the importance of having a healthy mind and being able to ask for help.

“Either if they are going through some anxiety, or some depression, he just wants them to be able to open up, speak to friends and family about it and get treatment if necessary,” Russel explained

Russel said his dad trained for about nine months to prepare for the overnight run.

“With his biggest running being a month ago, which was roughly a 60-mile run. So that was his last big run to prep for 24 hours,” said Russel.

All are welcome to stop by on Main Street in Wilbraham to run with Bill for a few hours or donate to the cause here.

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