Dallas Cowboys Assistant Defensive Line Coach and Dallas Park and Recreation Announce Partnership to Tackle Mental Health Myths and Stigmas in Communities of Color

Dallas Cowboys Assistant Defensive Line Coach Greg Ellis and the Dallas Park and Recreation Department are teaming up to advocate for and support mental health awareness in Dallas communities, particularly those of color. Highlighting the partnership is a FREE Wellness Summit on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Singing Hills Recreation Center, 6805 Patrol Way, Dallas, Texas 75241.   

Getting My Help Mental Wellness Walk and Fair hosted by influencer and media personality Lady Jade will feature an energetic 5K walk, informative workshops, various mental health resources, refreshments, and entertainment provided by radio stations 97.9 The Beat & Majic 94.5. Event registration is available on Eventbrite.com or click here.  

Ellis, who played 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, is encouraging families, groups, and those impacted by mental health challenges to participate.  Family, close friends and some current and former NFL Players will join him on the walk. The summit will challenge myths and stigmas often associated with discussing and seeking therapy for mental health issues. 

“The need for everyone to really look at their mental health is more critical now more than ever before. Self-care is the key to managing our mental and emotional health. That’s especially important for youth because one-third of American teens are sharing their concerns about their mental health. In communities of color, statistics show that they struggle with their mental health at higher rates than others,” said Ellis. 

Registration for the 5K and one-mile walk begins at 8 a.m. Leading pre-walk warmups is former UFC Mixed Martial Arts Champion Dr. Guy Mezger, CEO of Mezger Martial Arts and holistic health practitioner at Optimal Health Solutions.  

Interactive breakout sessions from 9 a.m. to noon will explore emotional and mental wellbeing with topics including the significance and benefits of therapy, finding the right therapist, coping with grief and loss, mediation, and a.m. mindfulness activities including yoga, dance, and cooking demonstrations. Closing out the event will be Camille Thompson’s MOM CREW & iDANZ. 

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins and State Representative Toni Rose will be among those attending the summit.  

“It is important for families to know what resources are here and how to protect their mental and emotional wellbeing. Our mental health affects how we act, think, and coexist with others. When our bodies don’t feel well, we get medical help. In many situations, we won’t seek the support and assistance we deserve for our mental health. Taking care of our minds, bodies, and souls is the self-care everyone needs,” said Atkins.  

Supporting the event are HSC Health & Aging Brain Study Health Disparities, Freedom Chevrolet by Ed Morse, Geico Local Office Victoria Elliott, NTX Health, UTA University Crossroads, Radio One, Brothers Food Service, and Hot Rod Connects. 

  Crystal R. Ross, Deputy Director, Dallas Park and Recreation Department, expressed excitement for the partnership, saying, “We are thrilled to work with Mr. Ellis to create awareness and momentum for this important issue. Together, we will reach out to families and their communities to help them with support and resources and empower them to advocate for their personal wellbeing.” 

Ross and Ellis agree that parks and recreation programs are good for the physical and mental wellbeing of people of all ages. Last year, Dallas Park and Recreation offered 9,588 recreation and leisure programs at its 42 recreation centers. Discover more about Dallas Park and Recreation programs at DallasParks.org

Improving the overall health and wellbeing of Dallas residents and communities through public outdoor spaces and recreation is Dallas Park and Recreation’s mission and one of three pillars of the National Recreation and Park Association. As an industry leader, NRPA champions and supports the field of parks and recreation through professional development, advocacy, grants and programs, and research.

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