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Dutchess County Partners with Family Services for “50 Meaningful Miles” Campaign

Published: 9/18/2023

to Raise Awareness on Mental Health  

Poughkeepsie… September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and as part of continuing efforts to break stigma and raise awareness on mental health, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) is supporting Family Services’ “50 Meaningful Miles” campaign. The campaign encourages community members to run or walk 50 miles, solo or in a team, during the month of September to bring mental health awareness to the community while highlighting the importance of physical activity for wellness. Individuals can create a team or join an existing one or help raise money for the cause at

On September 30th, Family Services CEO Leah Feldman will run 50 miles in one day to honor the unwavering determination that exists inside everyone. The daring feat is Feldman and Family Services’ way of showing support and solidarity for those struggling within the community. Her route spans two counties - running first into New Paltz (Ulster County), then heading into Dutchess County where she will run on the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail to Morgan Lake Trailhead then looping back to finish on the Walkway Over the Hudson, where she began. She will be met along the run by event supporters, including the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office. Leading up to the run, Family Services has been sharing 50 stories of people that have shown strength and resilience to overcome obstacles on their mental health journey and with grit determination have overcome adversity.

Dutchess County Health Commissioner Dr. Livia Santiago-Rosado said, “DBCH is delighted to support our community partner, Family Services for this great campaign. 50 Meaningful Miles highlights how physical activity has such a positive impact on both physical and mental health. By working together to spread information and awareness, we can make a true impact on the wellbeing of our community.”

Dutchess County offers many mental health services including the Dutchess County Stabilization Center and the 988 Dutchess County HELPLINE that are both available 24/7 to those in need. The County also with community partners, ensures a full spectrum of resources including partnering with Family Services to provide mental health, domestic violence, youth programming, and other services.

Family Services CEO Leah Feldman said, “It is important to know we are all in this together and no one should cope alone. Everyone is trying to tackle their own “50 miles” in life, one way or another. Many people and their brave stories have inspired this event and with support, we will continue to help those in need find their finish line. We thank partners like Dutchess County for their continuous support.”

DBCH encourages residents to prioritize their health and this event provides an opportunity to do that, while helping others. Those interested improving their mental and physical health can can visit Dutchess County Parks to get in some steps while taking in the beautiful fall weather and foliage. The campaign also offers free weekly run/walk meetups on Saturdays at 9am through September 23rd. For more information on these meetups visit

To learn about the many behavioral health resources throughout Dutchess County visit