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Mental Health Wellness Loop opens in Lake Worth Beach

Posted at 11:23 AM, Jun 26, 2023

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Along the Lake Worth Beach Water Front at Bryant Park there is now a mile-long Wellness Loop that stives to make sure people are taking care of their mental health.

And people are noticing the trail filled with inspirational messages. Click here to get Wellness Loop Information

"We're coming out to support what Lake Worth has done to bring awareness to mental health and how exercise and being in nature can help that," said Maura Hennessey who runs with the Lake Worth Runners.

For Maura, spreading the word about mental health maintenance is personal.

"I lost my daughter to suicide two years ago. Yesterday, it was two years she suffered in silence from depression. And I if I can help any other person, any other family member, any other mother, child, that so no one else is lost, and people aren't suffering in silence and bring it the awareness to mental health. And take it out of the darkness and bring it into the light," Maura said.

On Monday morning around a dozen members of the Lake Worth Runners got up to commemorate Maura's daughter.

The idea for the Wellness Loop came from Lauren Bennett. One day when the City of Lake Worth Beach employee was feeling down.

"I decided to take a walk. And I really felt like, I can't be the only one and I've thought about how cool would it be if we put out some inspirational messages and some links to resources so that people realized that they're not alone when they're having a bad season and that they're loved no matter what," said Laureen.

The loop includes outdoor workout equipment.

"Parks and Rec ties in perfectly with mental health because there's a lot of ways to just release and unwind and it's really good for your body and your mind," said Lauren.

Catherine Doe is the COMPASS Director of Mental Health. She said the Wellness Loop is an excellent resource for her clients

"LGBTQ+ youth experienced depression, anxiety, and PTSD at much higher rates than youth in general. So the need for support is even higher. So whether that's at the family level, the community level the school level, we want to wrap around support for our youth. COMPASS is here to offer support to the youth themselves, their families, and schools, we just really want to make sure that you guys have all the support they need and also to come out here and enjoy the mental health walk as part of their support system," Catherine said.

Patrice Schroeder from 211 Palm Beach and Treasure Coast agrees that the loop is an excellent resource.

"211 is your 24/7 [mental health resource]. Whether somebody is struggling, overwhelmed, or not sure what resources are available in the community. They may be looking for food assistance, they may be struggling with mental health or maybe they need free clinics to help them with their health care or services for their children or their elderly parent. They can just simply dial 211," said Patrice.

211 is also answering calls locally about mental health issues at a new national number.

"For mental and emotional crisis and suicide crisis, we have the new 988 number... ...Whether they dial 211 or 988 our staff are trained to really listen and help them navigate and find services.