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Murrell’s platform puts focus on depression

Due to life’s struggles or a loss, most people will experience some form of sadness or depression during their lifetime. Sometimes, it becomes far more than that.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 300 million people who will have prolonged periods of depression, which often interfere with normal day-to-day living.

Miss Vicksburg Alexis Murrell knows firsthand what it’s like to experience depression and has chosen to highlight this issue with her platform, “You Are Equipped!”

“My platform is designed to de-stigmatize and increase awareness of depression and anxiety disorders, and it was inspired by my own experiences with depression,” Murrell said. “During that time, I started to do research on mental health and realized that I was not alone, and once I became aware of what avenues are available to get help, I became inspired to get involved.”

As a way to reach out to those who suffering from depression, Murrell is heading up a local health fair. The event will run from 2 to 6 p.m. on  June 8, at the Outlets at Vicksburg, 4000 South Frontage Rd.

Activities will include raffles by local businesses, and My Brother’s Keeper will be performing free health checks.

Local mental health agencies will be on hand to distribute information regarding mental health issues, Murrell said. My Brother’s Keeper will perform free mental health checks. Other activities will include raffles by local businesses, a bouncy house and face painting for children.

The fair will also feature a hip-hop dance class taught by instructor Crystal Moulder at 4:30 p.m., and a Zumba class taught by instructor Carlisa Jenkins at 5 p.m.

“The connection between physical and mental health inspired me to organize the Vicksburg Health Fair. The fair will offer people the opportunity to get information and resources for mental and physical wellness,” Murrell said.

While the health fair is free, there will be a $2 charge for the bouncy house. Proceeds will benefit the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

In addition to the health fair, Murrell has promoted her platform at Girl Talk workshops.

“I wanted to allow young women to speak freely about their mental health and to provide them with the tools to build confidence from healthy relationships and take care of themselves,” she said.

Murrell will compete in the Miss Mississippi Pageant June 19-22 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

She said she wants to use her platform to help improve mental health in Warren County.

“Warren County was recently ranked 52nd in the state of Mississippi for healthy living, and I want to improve those numbers,” Murrell said. “Mental health and physical health go hand in hand, and physical activities can be an excellent and fun way to improve both.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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