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A Wake Up Call: Provident’s Rooster Run

Running can offer an escape from the grind of our daily lives. The mental benefits of running can be as important as the physical. But for many, the mental benefits may only help so much. But those fighting mental illness are not alone in their battle. Where self-help activities such as running end, organizations such as Provident provide professional mental health services and support.

Provident, a St. Louis based social services agency, provides counseling, crisis intervention, and community support programs, to help individuals and families facing mental health issues.

“Mental health has been a stigma to discuss,” says Janet Frain, Communication Manager at Provident.

Although it can be a difficult topic to discuss, mental illness affects millions of Americans. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults – approximately 61.5 million people in the U.S. experience mental illness each year. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is the third leading cause of death for people 15 to 24 years old.

The Rooster Run, one of Provident’s key outreach events, was Rooster_Runcreated in 2013 to educate the public and help erase the stigma associated with mental illness. “The event helps start the conversation, so people feel more comfortable talking about mental health,” explains Frain.

Provident helps thousands of St. Louisans each year through a variety of social services. “Through our counseling services, we help over 40,000 people per year,” states Frain.

Participating in the Rooster Run can have a profound effect on helping those dealing with mental illness. The entry fee from one race registration can provide one individual therapy session for an uninsured person; four registrations can support ten potentially life-saving phone calls on Provident’s crisis hotline.

This year’s Rooster Run takes place on Saturday, July 18 at 7 a.m. in Forest Park and includes a 5K run and Family Fun Walk.

“There will be a dog costume contest and Fredbird will be there again – he’s a real hit with the kids,” states Frain. The event also includes a friendly competition among participants. “The ten runners who catch Rudy the Rooster each win a gift card to The Rooster restaurant.”

To register for the Rooster Run visit or for more information on Provident visit

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