The Purpose

Why We Run

Shea’s Chase was founded in loving memory of Shea McKenna, who died by suicide on June 8, 2014. On that day we lost a dear friend, a loved one, a brother, and a son. The next year, Shea’s Chase was established as a movement to break the stigma surrounding mental illness, to get people to think of their mental health the same way as their physical health, to communicate hope and to increase the availability of services and support for those in our community who are struggling.

The first annual Shea’s Chase 5k Run/Walk was held in November of 2015, and we chose to donate all proceeds to Mental Health Greensboro, a local nonprofit that provides mental health education and free peer support and recovery services in the community. We have continued to partner with MHG, and over the past 4 years we have raised over $220,000, with all proceeds going towards the expansion of their programs, all due to the generosity of community members and organizations like yours.

An Exercise in Exercise

Shea’s Chase is a cause with a very appropriate “exercise in exercise”, a 5K run/walk, as it’s primary engine.  The core goals of Shea’s Chase are to help:

  • De-stigmatize mental health challenges.
  • De-stigmatize suicide and lend support to survivors.
  • Raise awareness of suicide prevention.
  • Highlight the link between mental health and physical health, and promote exercise as a tool to help maintain wellness.
  • Communicate the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress as obstacles to contentment and productivity.
  • Communicate hope, support, and love to sufferers and their family and friends.
  • Raise awareness of services and programs to help those in recovery from manage health challenges.
  • Help fund leading, local organizations aligned with the above.

Mental Health Greensboro

Mental Health Greensboro has been established as the sole financial beneficiary of Shea’s Chase. 100% of proceeds will go to program support and expansion at MHG.

Mental Health Greensboro (formerly the Mental Health Association in Greensboro) is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and has been a partner and neighbor in Greensboro and Guilford County for over 70 years. MHG advances mental wellness in our community through public education, direct services and collaborative partnerships. Just a few of the programs and services they provide are:

The Wellness Academy: Recovery classes for people with mental health diagnoses, designed to teach a toolbox of skills and strategies to help people manage their symptoms and stay on the path of recovery.

QPR Suicide Prevention Training: a nationally recognized best-practices program offering training in suicide / crisis aversion.

Mental Health First Aid: a certification training course that teaches participants a five-step action plan to identify a mental health crisis, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. 

MHG believes that recovery is successful when individuals take an active role in learning about their diagnoses and strategies for managing their symptoms. They are Greensboro’s only dedicated peer support recovery organization, combining peer education, peer coaching, support group facilitation and peer support specialist training.


Thanks to the generosity of Shea’s Chase supporters, MHAG has been able to:

  • Provide over 10,000 hours of recovery support services so far in 2019.
  • Teach over 500 recovery skills classes throughout the year.
  • Hold almost 600 peer-led support groups for individuals in recovery from mental health diagnoses, and their families.
  • Have additional staff certified as adult QPR Suicide Intervention instructors, which greatly expands MHG’s ability to provide training in the community on how to recognize and aid individuals struggling with suicidal ideation.

This tremendous growth in programs and individuals served would not have been possible without Shea’s Chase. Almost all of MHAG’s programs and services are offered at no cost to participants.