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West Jordan Journal

Run It Forward 5K fundraiser will benefit community wellness

Nov 18, 2021 02:59PM ● By Jet Burnham

Physical health is one of seven areas of wellness the Community Wellness Club is promoting with their community event. (Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash.)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Copper Hills High School’s Community Wellness Club is hosting a Run It Forward 5K fundraiser Nov. 20,. The race begins at Copper Hills High School, 5445 New Bingham Highway, at 10 a.m. Bib pick up will be starting at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $15. Registration forms are available in the CHHS Wellness Center or online through the club’s Facebook page and on Instagram @chhschw.

Club members will also be collecting food donations for the Utah Food Bank. Participants in the 5k and race spectators are invited to bring nonperishable items and will receive a ticket for a prize drawing for each can of food they donate. 

The $15 participation fee will go toward the club’s budget to fund this year’s projects. The club’s purpose is to spread health awareness and to help students take care of all aspects of their wellbeing including mental, emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, environmental and intellectual health.

“I think a large portion of the health issues we see today stem from lack of education about how mental health and physical health affect each other,” said one club member. “Everyone knows there is a mental health crisis, but nobody does anything about it, and I think that is so problematic.”

One of the biggest health problems among young people is that they don’t know how to manage their stress, said a club member. Many struggle and don’t realize the effect it has on their mental health.

Students said the stigma surrounding mental health prevents many people from asking for help. By spreading awareness through club activities and wellness campaigns, they believe they can help their peers live healthier, happier lives. 

“I want to be in the wellness club to help people around me,” a club member said. “I think it’s important to take care of all the aspects of health and I’d love to be able to help spread awareness about it.”

Another member said she joined the club to help others.

“I feel like I have met so many new people, and I have acquired many tools that I can use in my efforts to put service above myself,” she said.

Kelly Mcpherson is the club adviser of the Community Wellness Club. She also teaches a Community Wellness class at CHHS, the only one of its kind. She is actively working to help make it available at other schools.

Mcpherson’s background is in community wellness and project management in which she learned the importance of involving the target population for successful wellness interventions.

“If the people you're trying to serve are coming up with the solutions, they're much better solutions,” she said. “Students are planning projects and interventions for their own population. It’s very student driven.”

In her class, students identify problems and create interventions that address them. “They’re doing the data collection and the legwork to make sure that these programs are going to work,” Mcpherson said.

She has been impressed with the students’ ideas and the energy they have brought to issues such as suicide prevention, anti-vaping and athlete hydration campaigns.

“They're right at this age where they have some of the most flexible minds of any of us, so let's let them come up with the solution,” she said.