Honoring Mental Health Awareness One Step at a Time


Prioritizing mental health is a year-round effort at Offleash and a core focus of our Wise & Well committee. To honor Mental Health Awareness Month, we took the saying, “every journey begins with a single step,” literally and participated in a month-long step challenge to highlight the importance of mental health, including the vital role it plays in our overall health and well-being. 

The reason we chose a step challenge (aside from the fact that we love a good competition!) is because of the many benefits walking provides: from improved mental health and mood, to lowered risk of depression, to better sleep. It’s a simple step busy PR professionals like us—or anyone for that matter—can take to boost their overall health.

Our team took a whopping 3,415,582 steps during the month of May (the equivalent of walking from NYC to Houston), and what started as a simple challenge led to a whole lot more.

On a personal level, this challenge held me accountable to take a walk with my kids each evening, which in some ways replicated a “commute” home from work and allowed me to shake off the stress of the day while shifting gears into family time. As any remote employee can attest to, it can be challenging to disconnect from your work life and into your personal life when your “office” is also your home.

Here’s what other team members learned by getting their steps in each day:

Kickstarting a healthy habit 

Through this challenge, I realized how sedentary I had become and was initially motivated to just get moving a bit more. Once I started, I found myself setting a daily target for steps in an effort to not let my team down. Through that, I discovered that I didn’t want to let myself down and how good it made me (and my dogs!) feel to get outside more, move my body more, and make my physical health more of a priority. 

– Kelly Indrieri, Vice President, Integrated Marketing 

Sparking joy 

The first thing this challenge taught me was to just start! Don’t wait for the perfect moment —just lace up those comfy kicks and hit the road. Seeking out spots that made my senses dance—think fragrant flowers, salty sea breezes, or the serene embrace of a forest—made getting my steps in more interesting and joyful. And lastly: Don’t leave your furry pals behind! Their infectious happiness turns a simple walk into a full-blown adventure! 

– Caroline Dramis, HR Talent Manager

A new perspective 

I got injured halfway through the challenge and it wasn’t until the option of walking outside—or walking at all—was off the table for me that I realized how much the extra movement, or just getting outside with my dog, impacted my mental health. Now that I am healing, I’m looking forward to getting more steps in, and if my ankle cooperates in its healing, working up to a 5k with my husband. 

– Hollie Krause, Media Strategist 

Though both our step challenge and Mental Health Awareness Month have concluded, the benefits are lasting. I’m not only impressed by the millions of steps this group collectively took over four weeks, but also by the fact that no one wanted the challenge to end: It fostered community, movement, empowerment, and joy—all of which are vital for maintaining one’s mental health and well-being.

As our team continues to take strides in prioritizing our mental and physical health, we hope you’re inspired to do the same.