Mental Health 5K Walk/Ride scheduled for May

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022

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RESERVE — Pastor Devin K. Mason, owner of Conquerors Christian Therapy Services LLC in LaPlace, will commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month with a 5K Walk/Ride on Sunday, May 22.

The Inaugural Mental Health 5K Walk will begin at 1 p.m. on East 22nd Street in Reserve. Participants  will travel down East 22nd Street to River Road, turn down West 10th Street in Reserve, cross Airline Highway and finish at REGALA Park.

Proceeds from the walk will benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness and will also go toward initiatives to make mental health services accessible and affordable within the community.

“We want to make it to where money will not be an obstacle for those in need of mental health services for grief therapy, anxiety and depression, identity therapy, and even domestic abuse,” Mason said.

Mason has served as pastor over New Rescue Mission Baptist Church in Reserve for the past 13 years. Seeing that the congregation had not only spiritual needs, but also emotional and psychological needs, Mason opened Conquerors Christian Therapy Services LLC in summer 2021. His goal is to heal minds by bringing theology and psychology together.

The St. John Parish Council supported Mason’s efforts to raise awareness for mental health during last week’s meeting in LaPlace.

Parish President Jaclyn Hotard spoke about the social exclusion surrounding mental health.

“When we have physical ailments, it’s easier to get treatment, but oftentimes people don’t want to talk about their mental health. In some instances, people believe it is a sign of weakness,” she said.

Addressing Mason, Hotard added, “You’re a trusted member of the community. You’re a visible member in the community, and people can relate to you. I know people will turn to you when they might not have turned to other people because they have that level of comfort with you and with your leadership.”

Councilwoman Tammy Houston said mental health needs to be addressed in St. John Parish, in surrounding communities, and around the world.

“Mental health is something that we don’t talk about, but it’s also a very serious health problem that we need to address. Maybe if we address mental health, we wouldn’t have as much violence as we do in the community now,” she said.

Councilman Michael Wright hopes the Inaugural Mental Health 5K Walk is a good start to finding solutions.

“We hope to see this for many years to come because I think it will be something good to raise awareness,” Wright said.

The registration cost for the Mental Health 5K Walk/Ride is $30 and can be paid via CashApp at $ConquerorsCTS. The registration cost includes a T-shirt.

For more information, call Conquerors Christian Therapy Services LLC at 504-612-7744.