Mayors Nationwide Join Call to Connect and Move More for Mental Health | National Forum (2024)


May 1, 2024

Media Contact

Amanda Thomas

Move with the Mayor® Mental Health and Physical Activity Challenge starts May 1 

Mayors Nationwide Join Call to Connect and Move More for Mental Health | National Forum (1)

WASHINGTON – Fifty-six mayors have joined a nationwide challenge to raise awareness about the role of social connection in promoting mental and physical health.

Starting May 1, participating mayors will lead their community in the Move with the Mayor® Mental Health and Physical Activity Challenge by encouraging daily movement while fostering social connectivity through group activities. 

In partnership with the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, American Public Health Association, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mayors participating in the challenge will encourage residents to be more active and connect with others through community-based activities.

“We are thrilled so many mayors are joining this initiative,” said John M. Clymer, executive director of the National Forum. “We believe this challenge will provide a fun, engaging way for communities to come together and support each other while working towards improving both their mental and physical health.” 

Being active has many benefits, which include reducing the risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

“By collaborating with mayors to promote physical activity initiatives within communities, we aim to leverage local leadership to drive engagement and awareness, making health and fitness accessible to a wider audience,” said Kiaira Smith, MPH, public health program manager at the APHA.

Studies also show that social connectedness is crucial to good mental health and can increase longevity.

“Mental health is closely linked to physical health, and it’s encouraging that so many mayors

and communities across the country are joining this movement to promote mental well-being and social connections through physical activity,” said Allison Arwady, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention. “CDC is excited to be a part of this initiative where we share a commitment to improving the health and lives of all people.”

Mayors Nationwide Join Call to Connect and Move More for Mental Health | National Forum (2)

The challenge, which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month in May, will encourage participants to be more active and share their progress on social media using the hashtag #MoveWithTheMayor.

Mayors will also host a variety of group activities throughout the month, like walks, bike rides, and fitness classes. Residents can stay updated on the challenge by following their mayor’s social media accounts.

“It’s been such an incredible experience working with Move with the Mayor®,” said Mayor Rachel L. Proctor of DeSoto, Texas.

The city hosted its first MWTM event in August 2022.

“When we were getting ready to have our next event in the spring, I had a resident reach out to me,” Proctor said. “She said, ‘I’ll be there with bells on.’”

Proctor learned the resident participated in the August 2022 event, which motivated her to start her weight loss journey. Since that event, she lost 60 pounds.

Even if just one person walked away from the event with the motivation to flip the script and really start that healthy lifestyle, it made it all worth it,” Proctor said. We’re grateful to be partners with this initiative.”

Participating mayors include:

  • Mayor Shammas Malik – Akron, OH
  • Mayor Matt Tuerk – Allentown, PA
  • Mayor Angela Caraway Ansonville, NC
  • Mayor Jim Ross – Arlington, TX
  • Mayor Steven S. Sherlin – Athens, TN
  • Mayor Andre Dickens – Atlanta, GA
  • Mayor Emmanuel J. Estrada – Baldwin Park, CA
  • Mayor Sharon Weston Broome – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Mayor Scott Singer – Boca Raton, FL
  • Mayor Greg Mills Brighton, CO
  • Mayor Katrina Thompson – Broadview, IL
  • Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford – Camden, SC
  • Mayor Sue FinkamCarmel, IN
  • Mayor Stefan Roots – Chester, PA
  • Mayor Kayce Munyeneh Cheverly, MD
  • Mayor Beverly H. Burks – Clarkston, GA
  • Mayor Yasmine McMorrin – Culver City, CA
  • Mayor Don Walters – Cuyahoga Falls, OH
  • Mayor Gerard Hudspeth – Denton, TX
  • Mayor Rachel L. Proctor – DeSoto, TX
  • Mayor Rochelle Robinson – Douglasville, GA
  • Mayor Derrick Wood – Dumfries, VA
  • Mayor Leonardo Williams – Durham, NC
  • Mayor Justin Brooks – Erie, CO
  • Mayor Jeffrey D. Walter – Elburn, IL
  • Mayor David Billings – Fate, TX
  • Mayor Christina MurynFindlay, OH
  • Mayor Acquanetta Warren – Fontana, CA
  • Mayor Dean J. TrantalisFort Lauderdale, FL
  • Mayor Mike Ferguson – Fredonia, NY
  • Mayor Chodri Ma Khokhar – Glendale Heights, IL
  • Mayor Billy Hewes – Gulfport, MS
  • Mayor Rodney S. Craig – Hanover Park Village, IL
  • Mayor Michelle Romero – Henderson, NV
  • Mayor Ken Thurston – Lauderhill, FL
  • Mayor Keith R. Sydnor – Laurel, MD
  • Mayor Sharetta Smith – Lima, OH
  • Mayor Will Hill – Louisville, MS
  • Mayor Vicki Scaman – Oak Park, IL
  • Mayor Ryan Kauffman – Oswego, IL
  • Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters – Palos Park, IL
  • Mayor Hillary Schieve – Reno, NV
  • Mayor Rick Reinbold – Richton Park, IL
  • Mayor Kim Norton Rochester, MN
  • Mayor Karen K. Alexander – Salisbury, NC
  • Mayor Van R. Johnson II – Savannah, GA
  • Mayor Richard Bridger – Sheridan, WY
  • Mayor Victoria WoodardsTacoma, WA
  • Mayor Heidi LeubTigard, OR
  • Mayor Amy BublakTurlock, CA
  • Mayor Jon Cole Vermillion, SD
  • Mayor Quentin M. Hart – Waterloo, IA
  • Mayor Ruben Pineda – West Chicago, IL
  • Mayor Martha Guerrero – West Sacramento, CA
  • Mayor Thomas Roach – White Plains, NY
  • Mayor Nunzio Pulice – Wood Dale, IL

For more information about the challenge, visit  

About Move with the Mayor®

Mayors use Move with the Mayor®, an initiative of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, to encourage active, healthy living while strengthening individual and community resilience. For 10 years and counting, mayors have been using MWTM messaging; program, policy, and infrastructure recommendations; and other tools to empower and protect community members from health threats and improve cardiovascular health, mental health, and health equity. To learn more, visit

Mayors Nationwide Join Call to Connect and Move More for Mental Health | National Forum (2024)
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