Canopy Children’s Solutions is expanding its annual 5K4Kids Canopy Cares Run, presented by Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company and Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, to four statewide locations, all supporting the singular cause of removing the stigma on children’s mental health. Each of the four races will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at 8 a.m. to kick off Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Locations include Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Madison and Vicksburg.

Race locations

  • Biloxi: Biloxi Town Green (710 Beach Boulevard)
  • Hattiesburg: Longleaf Trace Trail (79 Jackson Road) 
  • Madison: Healthplex Performance Center (501 Baptist Drive) 
  • Vicksburg: Old Vicksburg Bridge (at Washington Street)

“We shouldn’t distinguish between the ‘physical health’ and ‘mental health’ of children. Rather, we should be talking about ‘healthy’ children,” said John D. Damon, Ph.D., Canopy CEO. “This year’s theme is ‘racing to remove the stigma of children’s mental health,’ because we want families to view anxiety and depression the same way they view a broken bone or asthma. While these things may cause challenges in our lives, that doesn’t mean they aren’t treatable or that they have to prevent us from living a productive life. That’s what this event is all about, raising awareness of these issues and the powerful solutions that help children learn how to thrive and be their own success stories.”

Each of the four locations will host a 5K Run/Walk, while Biloxi, Hattiesburg and Madison will also feature un-timed Fun Runs. Early Bird Registration for the 5K Run/Walk is $20 and will increase to $25 after April 2. Registration to participate in the Fun Run is $15 for all ages. All early registration participants are guaranteed to receive a race t-shirt and grab bag. Registration on the day of the event begins at 7 a.m., with the race warm-up at 7:45 a.m. The 5K Run/Walk will begin promptly at 8 a.m. with the Fun Run immediately following.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for local businesses, organizations and individuals to showcase their commitment to removing the stigma of children’s mental health. Canopy is also seeking community volunteers to help with preparation and race day activities. Sponsorship levels, volunteer opportunities and specific race details can be found at the event website, 5k4kids.com.

Canopy Children’s Solutions is the state’s largest, most comprehensive nonprofit provider of children’s behavioral health, educational and social service solutions serving all 82 Mississippi counties. It offers an array of child and family solutions including specialized education programs, autism therapy, intensive psychiatric treatment, therapeutic counseling, crisis solutions, family preservation programs, therapeutic foster care and adoption. In total, Canopy serves more than 5,000 children and their families each year.

For a full list of event details, to register, or to find other ways to get involved, please call 601-352-7784 or visit 5k4kids.com.