Pottstown Creative Health Mile Benefits Mental Health Awareness – The Mercury

Tristan Edwards-Wright suffered a heavy lack of her life at simply eight years outdated.

“I misplaced my father to mind most cancers and it was a really painful loss to observe him endure at such a younger age,” Edwards stated. “He meant the world to me.”

Seeing him endure the ultimate levels of most cancers wasn’t the one tragic side of Edwards Wright’s childhood.

“I used to be being sexually assaulted all that point and he by no means knew,” she stated. “I used to be so younger that I do not even keep in mind once I began – it was a neighbour.”

Michael Ragozino, left, Kristen Edwards-Wright, center, founders of RUNegades and Amon Gibson, director of development at Creative Health Services and RUNegades.  (Image credits to RUNegades)
Michael Ragozino, left, Kristen Edwards-Wright, heart, founders of RUNegades and Amon Gibson, director of growth at Artistic Well being Companies and RUNegades. (Picture credit to RUNegades)

Edwards Wright moved to California on a whim on the age of 20, however hiding his deep-seated trauma is starting to unfold within the type of an habit.

“I ended up adventurous and partying so much and I ended up hooked on medicine for a very long time,” she stated.

thrown off beam

She ultimately returned to Pennsylvania in 2018, and on account of feeling remoted in her new hometown, she transitioned from drug habit to alcoholism. When COVID hit, she was additional eradicated regardless of some candy spots alongside her journey that included marrying her husband, Jeffrey Wright, and having a child.

“When COVID hit, it was an enormous shock to somebody who was already combating their psychological well being,” Edwards-Wright stated.

Suicide was the one answer that made sense to her.

“It was the top of 2021, Christmas, and I felt suicidal,” she stated. “I had simply determined I must be driving off the street drunk.”

She made the try and survived, which led to a different try by overdosing on her remedy. She survived the second try and fell into the care of two psychological well being services after which rehab.

Runners of all ages and experience levels can participate in the Creative Health Mile.  (Image credits to RUNegades)
Runners of all ages and expertise ranges can take part within the Artistic Well being Mile. (Picture credit to RUNegades)

“I made it by means of they usually confirmed me essentially the most assist,” she stated, referring to her shut buddies and fellow runners who’re a part of RUNegades, a operating membership based mostly in Phoenixville, Chester County. The Membership is a non-profit group centered on operating and psychological well being, together with connection and belonging.

Working has all the time been a optimistic outlet for Edwards Wright.

“For me, that is the one time and place I can calm myself down once I’m operating,” she stated. “It is very onerous for the personality-distorted mind to cease overthinking issues – I want that launch time.”

Co-founder of RUNegades

Edwards Wright co-founded RUNegades in 2018 with longtime boyfriend Michael Ragozino, after forming a friendship as neighbors in Phoenixville. The membership’s preliminary focus was simply operating round and grabbing a beer afterwards. Nonetheless, issues modified within the final yr when it was clear that the members have been affected by psychological well being points.

RUNegades currently has 2,500 members.  In addition to hosting it twice weekly, it hosts about 15 races per year.  (Image credits to RUNegades)
RUNegades presently has 2,500 members. Along with internet hosting it twice weekly, it hosts about 15 races per yr. (Picture credit to RUNegades)

“The frequent denominator we have seen from members throughout the board is that all through and out of the pandemic, we have seen psychological well being points worsen,” Ragozzino stated. “Consequently, we noticed issues with substance abuse, anxiousness, despair, loneliness, and isolation.”

This heightened want has prompted RUNegades to shift their focus not too long ago.

“Up to now yr, RUNegades’ focus has shifted to neighborhood engagement and the psychological well being side,” Ragozzino stated. “It is extra rewarding to focus extra on psychological well being.”

Tonight, RUNegades plans to succeed in out to the neighborhood to lift consciousness of psychological well being points by means of the Artistic Well being Mile, which takes place in Pottstown at 6 p.m. at Heritage Area Airport. It’s a one mile race and is open to all ages of the general public and all ranges of expertise.

“We’re utilizing the Artistic Well being Mile to launch this psychological well being initiative,” Ragozzino stated, including that this is able to be the launch of a seasonal strategy to consciousness. “Each season we’ll concentrate on a special side of psychological well being.”

Partnership with Artistic Well being Companies

RUNegades presently has 2,500 members. Along with internet hosting them twice weekly, the group hosts about 15 races per yr. For the Artistic Well being Mile, RUNegades has partnered with Artistic Well being Companies, a neighborhood behavioral well being heart in Pottstown to assist greater than 6,000 youngsters, adults and households annually.

Christine Freitag Murray, Director of Improvement and Public Relations at Artistic Well being, mentioned the advantages of operating in relation to psychological well being.

“We all know that topics skilled improved emotional well-being, aid from stress, despair, aggressiveness, anger, anxiousness, enhanced self-image and self-confidence, temper, and happiness,” stated Freytag Murray. “The Artistic Well being / RUNegades Partnership is a superb mixture of supporting wellbeing.”

Ragozzino needs everybody, it doesn’t matter what they are going by means of, to really feel accepted and welcome to affix their membership.

“We wish everybody to really feel as in the event that they matter and we need to hear their story and spend time with them no matter who they’re,” he stated. “We wish folks to really feel they’ve a spot.”

Edwards Wright stated she feels the RUNEgades members made her really feel like she belongs. Plus, she is aware of she’s not the one one within the group with psychological well being points.

Kids and elite runners are welcome to race at The RUNegades annual one-mile race in Pottstown.  (Image credits to RUNegades)
Children and elite runners are welcome to race at The RUNegades annual one-mile race in Pottstown. (Picture credit to RUNegades)

“I’ve a number of members of the group who’ve gone by means of related circumstances,” she stated. “There is a tightness in our group which you could’t actually describe – you are not simply getting right into a superficial working group – you are getting right into a assist system.”

Since Edwards Wright got here out of rehab in February of this yr, issues are wanting brighter as she celebrates her six months of sobriety.

“I lastly obtained my actual prognosis after so many misdiagnoses: borderline character dysfunction, complicated PTSD, and my husband and I do completely every little thing,” she stated.

About Artistic Well being Mile

Elites, age teams, children…and now dad and mom with prams! Irrespective of your age or expertise degree, this race is for you! Race a mile on the runway of Heritage Area! After that, we may have music, meals and an extra personal free sport space. Compete in opposition to your pals within the Join 4 Relay Race, Can Jam, Rim Shot, Kubb, Slam Ball, Stealth Ab Gaming Machines, Cross Web and extra!

When: Tonight, Friday, June 10 (pre-register on-line for the race till 4pm). Bip pick-up and registration on registration day will happen at Airport Picnic Grove from 5:30 PM to six:45 PM.

Location: 50 Airport Rd., Pottstown, PA 19464 (Don’t enter the principle entrance to the airport. The tackle will take you across the again of the airport to Picnic Grove.)

Timings: Infants and Strollers 6:40 p.m., Elite 7 p.m., Age group for males 7:15 p.m., Age group for ladies 7:30 p.m.

Swim: One mile down the tarmac! Nobody is allowed on the runway till 6:30 PM or after 7:45 PM.

Price: $20 to register on-line or by mail till 6/17/21. $25 to register on race day for adults.

ALL KIDS (11 years and youthful) $12 on-line or $15 on race day.

Supply and for extra info on the race: www.runsignup.com/Race/PA/Pottstown/TheSauconyMile

for extra info



Artistic Well being Companies