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about the movement

 

Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the US suffer from mental illness. These battles, all 42 million of them annually, affect not only the patient but also the families, friends and support networks of these individuals. Now take that 1 in 5 figure and expand it to include every person who has been impacted by mental illness indirectly. If you haven’t already related to this statistic, imagine the staggering number of people around you, in your next class, in this Handle Bar community who know it all too well, and rarely speak about it.

Handle With Care is a movement to raise awareness on mental health and battle the stigma associated with mental illness.

We believe that mental health and physical health are inextricably linked and we aim to build upon this connection with our events, podcasts, newsletters and of course our conversation with you - our community. Whether you are directly impacted by mental illness, or if you are simply passionate about your own wellness, join the conversation. Let's peel away the stigma, and get real about mental health.
     

who we are

 

The movement is a group effort led by volunteer members of The Handle Bar Team, founder Jess Fracalossi, and HWC Executive Director Ellie Castine. Together, the HWC team agree upon and  host bi-monthly events, a regular podcast series, and uplifting twitter and instagram accounts focused on peeling away stigma and shedding light on mental health.
   

   

Idea/Inquiry Submission Form

  • Are you effected by mental illness directly or indirectly? Are you passionate about mental health and wellness? We are looking for inspiration and want to form relationships within our rider community to help us make an impact.

  • We will be hosting events to raise awareness and support for individuals living with mental illness and the facilities and organizations dedicated to their treatment. We need your help.

  • Do you have an idea for an event? Do you have a personal story that could mean something for someone who is struggling? How do you practice self-care to maintain mental wellness? Do you just want to stay in the loop on our movement?

  • Fill out this form to share your thoughts.

   

bike and barre HWC page_edited-1

also... Want to join our 5K Team for September 23rd? Learn more and register here

  • celebrating everyBODY

    a panel discussion on eating disorders, smashing the stigma, and promoting positive body image. 

    May, 2018

    unnamed_copy

    READ MORE

    This May, we were thrilled to focus our energy on the hugely relevant, sensitive yet close-to-home topic of eating disorders. Handle With Care joined forces with The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness for a momentous evening dedicated to battling stigma through knowledge, perspective, and the power of discussion.

    celebrating everyBODY was a panel discussion on eating disorders, smashing the stigma, and promoting positive body image. The evening began with moving introductions from each of our 5 panelists where they shared their stories, perspectives, and passions. The second half of the evening was dedicated to Q&A with our audience.

    Over 100 guests joined us for the free event. The feedback was fantastic and the evening was moving and impactful for all in attendance. Thank you to the Alliance and for our panelists who helped make it so special. 

      

       

       

       

       

  • Awareness Ride

    to benefit Crisis Text Line

    January, 2018

    hug

    READ MORE

    We kicked off 2018 with a charity ride to benefit Crisis Text Line. Crisis Text Line, like Handle With Care, aims to support and encourage those in need, to speak up. Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. When you feel alone or are in pain, Crisis Text Line’s trained Crisis Counselors are available to assist you with just a simple SMS text message.

     

    On Tuesday, January 30 we hosted a 45 minute cycling session followed by a raffle and small reception. Riders came with open hearts and minds to learn about Crisis Text Line, and support their cause with cash donations. We raised $800 for the organization!

      

       

       

       

       

  • HWC and The Wellness Collective

    Press Pause, a ride and panel discussion on self-care

    December, 2017

    lunch

    READ MORE

    In collaboration with The Wellness Collective, we brought riders together to sweat, indulge in some healthy snacks, and discuss the importance of self-care during the holiday season. 


    Following a 30 minute Handle Bar ride, guests enjoyed salads and beverages and grabbed seats in our studio entrance to listen in on the panel discussion. Hosts Ana Alarcon and Kerri Axelrod interviews HB founder Jess Fracalossi and  wholistic and mental health counselor, Rachel Duda. Engaging discussion and a captive audience made for a great event!

      

       

       

       

       

  • An Initiative For Our Veterans

    We raised funds for our local veterans and raised awareness on the link between military service and PTSD.

    November, 2017

    Initiative

    READ MORE

    During the month of November, each Handle Bar studio housed a glass donation jar dedicated to our veterans. A small sign by each jar outlined our motives and our cause. 


    'The three primary mental health concerns for those serving or finished their service are; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, and Traumatic Brain Injury. At each studio for the month of November, you can give back to a homeless veteran. A simple $5 donation will go toward 2-way MBTA ticket for a homeless veteran to use for transportation to job interviews, doctors appointments, and other small trips critical to their recovery."


    By the end of November, we successfully raised over $700 and were able to hand-deliver 150 2-way MBTA passes to the New England Center and Home for Veterans. Thank you riders for your support!

      

       

       

       

       

  • 5k Rise Up Against Addiction

    HWC + Shatterproof

    October, 2017

    marathon

    READ MORE

    The HWC community took to the pavement for a 5K walk for a cause! On October 28th, we joined in on a 5k run/walk in the Franklin Park Zoo to support Shatterproof. Shatterproof is a national nonprofit dedicated to ending the devastation that addiction causes families. 


    The HWC team showed up with positive energy and open hearts to battle stigma and rise up against addiction. 

      

       

       

       

       

  • Film Screening and Panel Discussion

    in honor of National Recovery Month, we hosted a screening of HBO's Documentary; Warning: This Drug May Kill You, followed by a panel discussion with local experts.

    September, 2017

    handle-with-care_copy

    READ MORE

    September was National Recovery month and we brought our community together to talk about it! In partnership with The Davis Square Theater, we hosted a two part event that included a screening of HBO's documentary, 'Warning: This Drug May Kill You.' The film highlighted true stories of people affected by Opioid addiction, as well as interviews with their families and friends.


    The film screening was followed by a question and answer session with a panel of local experts to discuss the correlations between drug abuse and mental illness.

     

    100 people showed up to listen, learn and raise awareness on these sensitive and timely topics. The event was informative, intimate, and very well received by our community. We look forward to hosting similar events at The Rockwell in the future!

      

       

       

       

       

  • HBSummerShare and Handle With Care

    Riders and staff visit the Museum of Science to view the pop-up exhibit - Many Faces of Our Mental Health

    August, 2017

    Gallery

    READ MORE

    HBSummerShare is a summer-long riding competition that challenges riders to stay fit and engaged in the community through the summer months. As a part of this program, we asked our riders to visit the Museum of Science in August to learn more about Mental Illness and break down stigma through knowledge. 99 portraits were hung on display - 33 people who have experienced symptoms of Schizophrenia, 33 people who have experienced symptoms of Bipolar, and 33 people who love them. The exhibit proved flawlessly that mental illness does not discriminate based on age, gender, or race.  The exhibit was beautiful and moving.

      

       

       

       

       

  • Awareness Ride

    self care and mental wellness

    June, 2017

    yoga-community

    READ MORE

    In June, riders came together to celebrate Self-Care. Entry into this event was simple - let us know how you practice self care! We compiled the inspiring methods for mental health maintenance, and put these on display in each studio for the month following the ride. At the event, we celebrated mental health and included fact cards and important statistics surrounding mental illness. 

      

       

       

       

       

  • Awareness Ride

    to benefit NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness 

    April, 2017

    post-it-notes

    READ MORE

    The launch of Handle With Care was celebrated with a series of feel-good rides hosted at each studio. Upon entry, riders were asked to leave a note of encouragement to people in the Adult Partial Hospital Program at Arbour HRI in Brookline, MA. Cash donations were collected to benefit NAMI, and riders received goodie bags containing positive affirmations, interesting facts about Mental Illness, inormation on NAMI and on the programs offered by Arbour. The outpouring of support at our first event was moving. 


    We compiled the notes of encouragement into a small piece of art and his now on display at Arbour HRI. 

      

       

       

       

       

  • celebrating everyBODY

    a panel discussion on eating disorders, smashing the stigma, and promoting positive body image. 

    May, 2018

    unnamed

    READ MORE

    This May, we were thrilled to focus our energy on the hugely relevant, sensitive yet close-to-home topic of eating disorders. Handle With Care joined forces with The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness for a momentous evening dedicated to battling stigma through knowledge, perspective, and the power of discussion.

    celebrating everyBODY was a panel discussion on eating disorders, smashing the stigma, and promoting positive body image. The evening began with moving introductions from each of our 5 panelists where they shared their stories, perspectives, and passions. The second half of the evening was dedicated to Q&A with our audience.

    Over 100 guests joined us for the free event. The feedback was fantastic and the evening was moving and impactful for all in attendance. Thank you to the Alliance and for our panelists who helped make it so special. 

    Awareness Ride

    to benefit Crisis Text Line

    January, 2018

    hug

    READ MORE

    We kicked off 2018 with a charity ride to benefit Crisis Text Line. Crisis Text Line, like Handle With Care, aims to support and encourage those in need, to speak up. Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. When you feel alone or are in pain, Crisis Text Line’s trained Crisis Counselors are available to assist you with just a simple SMS text message.

     

    On Tuesday, January 30 we hosted a 45 minute cycling session followed by a raffle and small reception. Riders came with open hearts and minds to learn about Crisis Text Line, and support their cause with cash donations. We raised $800 for the organization!

    HWC and The Wellness Collective

    Press Pause, a ride and panel discussion on self-care

    December, 2017

    lunch

    READ MORE

    In collaboration with The Wellness Collective, we brought riders together to sweat, indulge in some healthy snacks, and discuss the importance of self-care during the holiday season. 


    Following a 30 minute Handle Bar ride, guests enjoyed salads and beverages and grabbed seats in our studio entrance to listen in on the panel discussion. Hosts Ana Alarcon and Kerri Axelrod interviews HB founder Jess Fracalossi and  wholistic and mental health counselor, Rachel Duda. Engaging discussion and a captive audience made for a great event!

      

       

       

       

  • An Initiative For Our Veterans

    We raised funds for our local veterans and raised awareness on the link between military service and PTSD.

    November, 2017

    Initiative

    READ MORE

    During the month of November, each Handle Bar studio housed a glass donation jar dedicated to our veterans. A small sign by each jar outlined our motives and our cause. 


    'The three primary mental health concerns for those serving or finished their service are; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, and Traumatic Brain Injury. At each studio for the month of November, you can give back to a homeless veteran. A simple $5 donation will go toward 2-way MBTA ticket for a homeless veteran to use for transportation to job interviews, doctors appointments, and other small trips critical to their recovery."


    By the end of November, we successfully raised over $700 and were able to hand-deliver 150 2-way MBTA passes to the New England Center and Home for Veterans. Thank you riders for your support!

    5k Rise Up Against Addiction

    HWC + Shatterproof

    October, 2017

    marathon

    READ MORE

    The HWC community took to the pavement for a 5K walk for a cause! On October 28th, we joined in on a 5k run/walk in the Franklin Park Zoo to support Shatterproof. Shatterproof is a national nonprofit dedicated to ending the devastation that addiction causes families. 


    The HWC team showed up with positive energy and open hearts to battle stigma and rise up against addiction. 

    Film Screening and Panel Discussion

    in honor of National Recovery Month, we hosted a screening of HBO's Documentary; Warning: This Drug May Kill You, followed by a panel discussion with local experts.

    September, 2017

    handle-with-care_copy

    READ MORE

    September was National Recovery month and we brought our community together to talk about it! In partnership with The Davis Square Theater, we hosted a two part event that included a screening of HBO's documentary, 'Warning: This Drug May Kill You.' The film highlighted true stories of people affected by Opioid addiction, as well as interviews with their families and friends.


    The film screening was followed by a question and answer session with a panel of local experts to discuss the correlations between drug abuse and mental illness.

     

    100 people showed up to listen, learn and raise awareness on these sensitive and timely topics. The event was informative, intimate, and very well received by our community. We look forward to hosting similar events at The Rockwell in the future!

      

       

       

       

  • HBSummerShare and Handle With Care

    Riders and staff visit the Museum of Science to view the pop-up exhibit - Many Faces of Our Mental Health

    August, 2017

    Gallery

    READ MORE

    HBSummerShare is a summer-long riding competition that challenges riders to stay fit and engaged in the community through the summer months. As a part of this program, we asked our riders to visit the Museum of Science in August to learn more about Mental Illness and break down stigma through knowledge. 99 portraits were hung on display - 33 people who have experienced symptoms of Schizophrenia, 33 people who have experienced symptoms of Bipolar, and 33 people who love them. The exhibit proved flawlessly that mental illness does not discriminate based on age, gender, or race.  The exhibit was beautiful and moving.

    Awareness Ride

    self care and mental wellness

    June, 2017

    yoga-community

    READ MORE

    In June, riders came together to celebrate Self-Care. Entry into this event was simple - let us know how you practice self care! We compiled the inspiring methods for mental health maintenance, and put these on display in each studio for the month following the ride. At the event, we celebrated mental health and included fact cards and important statistics surrounding mental illness. 

    Awareness Ride

    to benefit NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness 

    April, 2017

    post-it-notes

    READ MORE

    The launch of Handle With Care was celebrated with a series of feel-good rides hosted at each studio. Upon entry, riders were asked to leave a note of encouragement to people in the Adult Partial Hospital Program at Arbour HRI in Brookline, MA. Cash donations were collected to benefit NAMI, and riders received goodie bags containing positive affirmations, interesting facts about Mental Illness, inormation on NAMI and on the programs offered by Arbour. The outpouring of support at our first event was moving. 


    We compiled the notes of encouragement into a small piece of art and his now on display at Arbour HRI. 

      

       

       

       

  • Awareness Ride

    to benefit the One Love Foundation

    February, 2018

    the-handle-bar-community

    READ MORE

    In February we wanted to celebrate love and healthy relationships. We used this month as an opportunity to raise awareness on domestic violence and the dangers and warning signs of unhealthy relationships.


    Founded in 2010 to honor Yeardley Love, One Love works to ensure everyone understands the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. One Love is changing the statistics around relationship abuse one conversation at a time.


    On Sunday, February 25th, we welcomed 40 riders for a 45 minute indoor cycling session led by Charlie Finnigan, an HB instructor and former lacrosse teammate of Yeardley's at the University of Virginia. Riders came to learn, and support the One Love Foundation with open hearts. Between ticket price and raffle entries, HWC successfully raised over $1200 for the foundation!