FRAZIER: We can’t Chill when it comes to mental health awareness

Published 4:00 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

A variety of foot races are held in Vicksburg some of which are the Run Thru History, Over the River Run, ERDC’s Mad Scientist Run, Reindeer Run and the Spooky Sprint.

These races are held throughout the year and are well-supported. This is great since they benefit different local groups and organizations.

Chillin’ in the Hills is another local race, and its proceeds help support the Grace Christian Counseling Center, the non-profit organization in which hubby is the executive director.

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Since its inception 14 years ago, Chill in the Hills, now known as Chillin’ in the Hills, has been held in January, hence the “chill” in the hills. And while the T-shirts are adorable – a snowman wearing tennis shoes and running – a race in January has been hit and miss – mostly miss.

January in Mississippi is not just “chilly”; it’s rainy. And rain is a surefire deterrent for any outdoor event.

So, to hopefully garner more support and funding for an organization that provides counseling services to those who otherwise could not afford it, the Grace Christian Counseling Center decided to hold the race in May and call it “Chillin’ in the Hills.” Isn’t that just perfect?

The “Chillin’ in the Hills” fundraiser will offer a 5K run and walk and there will be a one-mile fun run for kids.

You may think I am just pumping up this race because of hubby — I am, but more importantly, I would like to emphasize the importance of mental health.

While we have no problem talking about our physical health, the mention of “mental health” has been taboo. This mum’s the word attitude is becoming detrimental.

Just this week, the U.S. Surgeon General compared the risk of loneliness to smoking more than half a pack of cigarettes a day, and we know how deadly smoking can be.

Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control, for ages 10 to 24, suicide is the third-leading cause of death. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and chronic lung disease combined.

Every day in the U.S. there are on average more than 5,400 suicide attempts by young people in grades seven through 12.

Let that sink in.

According to, “The brain is the source of all the qualities that define our humanity. The brain is the crown jewel of the human body,” yet we are too worried about what other people might think if we were to seek out health for mental well-being.

Insurance companies need to get on board, too. It is just wrong that some companies don’t provide mental health services while there are others that put a limit on how many counseling sessions they will cover.

Can you imagine having limited sessions for a general practitioner or cardiologist? And what about a pediatrician? With four children, there were more visits to Dr. Debbie’s office than I could count.

Grace Christian Counseling Center works on a sliding scale, so anyone seeking help can receive it, whether they have insurance or not.

The Chilling in the Hills race is scheduled for May 13 and will start on Belmont Street. For those interested in signing up early they can go to 2023 — Chillin’ in the Hills — Race Roster — Registration, Marketing, Fundraising or call 601-636-5703.

Mental Health Awareness Month is recognized in May, a good time for a race.

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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