“Battle of the Gains tackles mental health issues”
By guest blogger: Susan K. Maciak – CAMEO Communications & Consulting LLC
Mental health is a topic that is still mostly taboo. Yet, almost daily, another unstable person acts out in violence, homicide or suicide. No one seems to be able to stop the bleeding.
“That’s why Battle of the Gains (BOTG) added mental health to its mission,” says founder Will Ellermets. “Our ‘Events with a Cause’ help raise money for groups that advance physical, spiritual and mental health.” He’s disappointed that agencies like Mental Health America have not been able to end this public health epidemic.
“For every 1,000 people with mental health problems, there’s only one professional to treat them,” Ellermets points out. “One in five adults (about 40 million) and a growing number of youth need mental health assistance.”
Gains in good mental health is one of BOTG’s goals
One idea Ellermets advocates is offering scholarships to lure more college students into mental health fields. He admits it’ll take time and many more qualified people to battle mental problems. He worries that in this age of instant gratification we may lack patience to make it happen.
In the meantime, Ellermets will continue to provide West Michigan with ‘Events with a Cause’ that promote health through action and community interaction. At Makeover Morning, one of BOTG’s early Gains events this year, participants took home a Blueprint Challenge to help them set mental, physical and financial goals for 2017.
Sedentary lifestyles lead to mental and physical problems
“Battle of the Gains events pull people away from too-much technology and other sedentary activities,” Ellermets says. “We all need to be more active for both physical and mental health benefits.”
Ancient Greeks and modern mental health pro set tone
This year’s Battle of the Gains’ agenda was influenced by a modern-day mental health professional – and the ancient Greeks. In 2013, Amy Morin, licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist, wrote an article on mentally strong people that went viral. In just days it was read by over 30 million people and reprinted in Forbes, Success, Psychology Today and Business Insider. Some of Marin’s mental help tips came into play in planning Battle of the Gains’ 2017 schedule of events:
- Use mental energy wisely, taking breaks from brain work.
- Reframe negative thoughts to positives.
- Work toward establishing goals.
- Reflect on progress.
- Tolerate discomfort for greater purpose.
- Practice gratitude.
- Balance emotions with logic.
- Live according to values.
Ellermets and his team also looked to the ancient Greeks to help 21st Century Americans improve all aspects of wellness. The Greeks emphasized sports, music, theater, social interaction and harmony for living robust lives. To incorporate advice from both sources, Battle of the Gains collaborated with other agencies to plan two of this year’s events:
- July 4 – 4th of July Parade with City of Allendale
- September 17 – Bridge Run 5k race with Lake Michigan Credit Union
Battle of the Gains’ big annual event this year features basketball tournaments, fitness tests, rides, Health Expo-Business Exhibit and lots of other family friendly fun. It’s set for:
- June 24– at John Ball Zoo with Sports Tournaments, Scavenger Hunts and Community Expo
Smaller Battle of the Gains events include:
- July 22 – Mental Mountain Climb to Success! at a Lake Michigan beach
- Other small group activities to be announced throughout the year
All GAINS events are open to the public. For further details on how to get involved, see BOTG’s website: www.battleofthegains.com
Change Yourself. Change Your Community. Change Your World.
Battle of the Gains is a movement conceived and launched by Will Ellermets as a student at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI). Blog posts are developed by Susan K. Maciak, business associate / advisory board member / owner of CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC www.cameo100.com