• Morning meditation and healing sessions with famed wellness gurus
  • Afternoon Wellness Expo sponsored by EmblemHealth
  • Fitness demos, entertainment, panel on Black male mental health
  • Free and open to the public

(September 22, 2022 at 10am)

QUEENS, NY – As part of his ongoing commitment to improving the well-being of the borough in every sense of the word, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. will host his inaugural Queens Wellness Day this Saturday, September 24 in Flushing, featuring free morning meditation and healing sessions and a free comprehensive Wellness Expo in the afternoon.

“What these last two years have taught us, more than anything, is that we cannot take our health for granted — not just our physical health, but our mental well-being as well. These times have brought about immense struggle when it comes to wellness, but we’re diving head first into healing and empowerment this Saturday with our first-ever Queens Wellness Day,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “I couldn’t be more excited to bring leaders like Deepak Chopra and Queen Afua to The World’s Borough for a day of healing, health and hope for our shared future.”

Beginning at 10:30am at Royal Queen within the New World Mall, the morning portion of Queens Wellness Day will feature a meditation session led by celebrated author and wellness advocate Deepak Chopra, as well as an inner healing session with acclaimed holistic health expert Queen Afua.

Also during the morning segment, Borough President Richards will announce a multimillion dollar partnership with BetterHelp, the world’s largest therapy platform, regarding access to free mental health services for Queens residents. Additional details about the initiative will be announced in the coming weeks.

In addition, the Borough President will honor a handful of Queens leaders — NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst CEO Helen Arteaga, LIFE Camp, Inc. Founder and CEO Erica Ford, EmblemHealth CEO Karen Ignagni, Glow Community Center President Jerry Lo and community organizer Yi Chen — for their work in the health and wellness fields.

Beginning at 12pm at James A. Bland Playground, the afternoon segment of Queens Wellness Day, sponsored by EmblemHealth, will include fitness classes from Planet Fitness representatives, health screenings, a self-care pavilion, kids’ activities, food and a community-led panel discussion on Black male mental health. Live entertainment will be provided courtesy of popular hip-hop artist Doug E. Fresh.

Public registration for the morning segment has closed. However, registration is not required to attend the afternoon segment. Click here for more information. Masks must be worn during the morning segment and attendees must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Members of the media who wish to attend Queens Wellness Day are asked to RSVP by emailing [email protected] or calling 718-286-2640.

“Wellness means maintaining health in mind, body and soul. Thanks to Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., who is creating more free opportunities for New Yorkers and Queens residents to lead a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and wellness activities like meditation, which are often inaccessible due to cost or other non-economic barriers,” said NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner DR. ASHWIN VASAN. “Wellness is for all, not just the privileged few, and thanks to these programs, we can make this a reality.”

“Having a regular meditation practice produces tangible and substantial benefits for mental and physical health,” said DEEPAK CHOPRA. “I’m honored to participate in Queens Wellness Day and offer the meditation and wellness practices that have helped millions of people across the globe,”

“When the body is more alkaline than acidic, it can maintain inner peace and clarity of mind, even in the most stressful situations. During Queens Wellness Day, I hope to show people that the power to heal is within ourselves, and that food can be used as medicine,” said QUEEN AFUA. “Through this holistic lifestyle, we can create a healer in every family and a wellness center in every home.”

“Vicarious trauma can destroy a family, community, city or nation in seconds after a shooting. If not addressed in an urgent manner, it grows and spreads like a viral and contagious disease,” said LIFE Camp, Inc. Founder and CEO ERICA FORD. “It’s imperative that our city, state and federal government address the disease of violence with the same urgency and equity that is used to address major public health outbreaks.”

“In 2020, Southeast Queens was the epicenter of the global pandemic, which shed light on the disparate social determinants of health affecting Black communities,” said LIFE Camp, Inc. Chief Wellness Officer KHEPERAH KEARSE.“We’ve had a dual pandemic as we’ve also seen gun violence on the rise. It’s clearly time to meet the mental, physical and emotional wellness needs of Black men, which have gone unaddressed for decades.”

“We’re delighted to partner with Borough President Donovan Richards to bring free therapy to the people of Queens,” said BetterHelp Founder and President ALON MATAS. “Wellness starts with mental health, and it’s uplifting to see a leader make that a priority for his entire community.”


WHEN:         Saturday, September 24 at 10:30am

WHERE:       Royal Queen, 136-20 Roosevelt Avenue, 3rd Floor, in Flushing

WHO:            Borough President Richards

                      Deepak Chopra

                      Queen Afua

                      Community leaders


WHEN:         Saturday, September 24 at 12pm

WHERE:       James A. Bland Playground, 40th Road between Prince and Main Streets in Flushing

WHO:           Borough President Richards

                     Community leaders

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