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'Knockout Stigma Day' throws punches at mental health

TITLE Boxing Clubs across the nation are knocking out the stigma when discussing mental health.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — Boxing clubs across the nation are strapping on their gloves and stepping into the ring for a different kind of fight.

Their opponent: mental health.

“People come in here, not only to relieve stress, but to work out,” said Leslie Davis, Co-owner of TITLE Boxing Club in Hampden Township, Cumberland County.

For the past three-years, the company uses one day in May to knockout the stigma surrounding mental health.

“Boxing is mind, body, and soul, it’s everything, we have members that are coming in here that say they just want to hit something, and they need to get their stress out, they need to get their anxiety out,” Davis said.

Felicia Alexander, Chief Revenue Officer of TITLE Boxing Club, and co-founder of BoxUnion were one of the minds responsible for conceptualizing the knockout event after confronting their own struggles with mental health.

“We have about 160 clubs across the country, so it’s a day all clubs, all title boxing clubs in the country celebrate the stigma of knocking out mental health,” Davis explained.

The event doesn’t just raise awareness, it gives boxers an outlet to relieve stress and anxiety.

“You can see it in their face, they are using that glove, that arm as a transition to get the stress out of their body and on to the bag,” Davis said.

Davis told Fox43 how hitting the bag can be a cathartic experience, or a positive outlet for anyone struggling with mental health.

“When you’re punching that bag and you’re feeling that you’re using your mind as a weapon and as a tool to relieve that stress along with your body and your muscles, so you just get an exhilarating feeling.”

The annual campaign is all inclusive and welcomed just under one-hundred guests throughout the day. Boxers could also make donations before exiting the club. All donations will benefit the organization, Bring Change to Mind.

“We do not judge, we are a house of all community, of all genders, of all races, of all ages, between these four walls we are a safe place, we are a family, and we support each other,” Davis said.

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