Mental Health Awareness Initiative

The RUNegades are proud to announce a year-long mental health awareness initiative. After two trying years of the pandemic, our leadership team couldn't help but notice the increase in feelings of sadness, loneliness, and isolation in the members of our community. We witnessed a general rise in substance abuse and an undeniable increase in suicide attempts.

One of our founders, Tristan Edwards-Wright, felt the weight of her own struggles and found herself in a place beyond despair. 

Inspired by Tristan's ongoing journey and the success she continues to find each day, we have decided to shift the focus of the RUNegades from physical wellness to complete wellness. Never has the connection between the body and the mind been so obvious. We cannot achieve real fitness, true wellness, without focusing on both. 

Launched this June 10th at the Creative Health Mile, our mental health awareness initiative promises to do just that. We'll provide our runners (and walkers and their families) with opportunities for physical exercise and as much information and as many mental health resources as we can. We'll encourage our members to engage in self-reflection and mindfulness, to reach out to their friends, family, and acquaintances who may be struggling, and to reach out to members of our community when they need support themselves.

The initiative will take place over three separate weeks between now and the end of the year. Each week will focus on a different topic related to mental health and will culminate in a "Mental Health Matters" group run from Steel City that Sunday morning. If you would like to get involved as a speaker or help plan one of our topics, please email us at We would love your help!

While each of us has our own journey, so much of mental health depends upon our environment, our community. It's our goal to make sure that everyone feels seen, feels valued for the unique individual they are, and feels that they have a place to belong. We hope you'll join us in this undertaking. If we can help just a handful of people feel welcomed, maybe lead just one or two people to the help they need, it will all be worth it.

(Check this page or our Facebook group page for updated information as the initiative takes shape.)