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5K Race and Walk at Hudson Valley Community College Aimed at Bringing Awareness to Mental Health Issues

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

Hudson Valley Community College will hold its fifth annual Race Away Stigma 5K Race and Fun Walk on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. to promote awareness of mental health issues among college students and the associated stigma.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the race/walk begins at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony with refreshments follows at 11 a.m. The race entry fee is $20, payable in advance, or $25 payable at the race. Register by calling Hudson Valley’s Center for Counseling and Transfer at (518) 629-7176 or at

The college’s Center for Counseling and Transfer is working in conjunction with Equinox, Ellis Medicine, Next Generation, NAMI, Road ID and the Hudson Valley Student Senate in hosting the race.

With more than one in five Americans affected by mental illness, it is not uncommon for depression, anxiety and other more serious conditions to arise during the college years. While counseling is readily available and can be immediately beneficial, many do not seek much-needed help because of the stigma associated with mental illnesses. Equinox, a nonprofit community organization that provides services to those dealing with mental illness, chemical dependency, domestic violence and homelessness, maintains a network of mental health volunteers on campuses to work with students.

“This is the fifth year of the race. And, in this time, we think we have made great strides toward making our community aware that there is help for mental illness and that there is no shame in seeking it,” said Larry Ellis, associate director of student development for the Center for Counseling and Transfer.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers 75 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 13,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.