One in four people suffers from mental health related issues, and Ocean Mental Health Services is hoping to fight the stigma that comes with that at its "Race4Respect" 5k and one mile fun run next month.

photo from Race4Respect OceanMHS Facebook page
photo from Race4Respect OceanMHS Facebook page

Lisa Mulhearn, Development Associate with Ocean Mental Health Services, said the biggest barrier for people with mental health issues, is the stigma.

"The race gives us the opportunity to educate and bring the topic to light for people to be able to discuss it," said Mulhearn.

Proceeds from the event help fund more than 30 programs offered by Ocean Mental Health Services and its Ocean Cares Foundation, according to Mulhearn.

"Some of our clients and patients are people that might just be having a little bit of depression, for either a traumatic life event or a change in career, or something like that, that has triggered them into a depression. Some of our patients might be suffering from substance abuse," said Mulhearn.

Mulhearn pointed out Ocean Mental Health Services also has residential services and group homes for people with severe mental health issues that might need additional help getting back into a routine.

"We have Ocean Academy, which is a therapeutic school for students that need emotional needs from Ocean and Monmouth Counties. We have a therapist on site. We also  have the Bayside Program. It's a partial care program for youth where we're getting referrals from perhaps somebody has just been discharged from the hospital and they need a little bit more help and care," said Mulhearn.

The "Race4Respect," is being held on Saturday, September 26, on the Seaside Park Boardwalk, at Stockton Avenue. The Fun Run is at 8:30 a.m. The 5k Race/Walk goes off at 9:00 a.m.

Same day registration is available at the Saw Mill, 1807 Boardwalk at Stockton Avenue, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., as well as online at

The 5k course is USATF-certified for avid runners looking to earn points or needing an official time to qualify for other races.

Entry fees increase after September 1, 2015 to $30 for the 5k and $15 for the one-mile fun run.

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