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Walk to defeat depression to benefit local Help Project

On Sunday, June 5, community members will be strolling around the lagoon in Harrison Hot Springs while raising awareness for depression.

On Sunday, June 5, community members will be strolling around the lagoon in Harrison Hot Springs while raising awareness for depression, anxiety and other invisible illnesses during the fifth annual Defeat Depression.

As part of the national Defeat Depression campaign, the local walk will offer health awareness in hopes of decreasing the stigma often attached to mental illness, while also raising funds for the Help Project – a local non-profit society which aims to provide access to sources for at-risk youth in the community.

Registration for the 5.5-km walk and run event is by-donation, and this year 75 per cent of the money raised will be donated to the local society.

As of Wednesday, about $2,000 had been raised on the online campaign page at defeatdepression.ca.

Agassiz-Harrison Defeat Depression coordinator Andrea McRae said that the walk offers a dual meaning for those suffering with mental illness including awareness raising, but also physical activity and social interaction – both of which can have a positive effect on mental health.

McRae noted that although fundraising is necessary and important, advocating for those with mental health issues is just as important.

“We are saying ‘it’s okay not to be okay,’” she said. “We want mental health issues to be viewed the same way physical issues are.”

Sunday’s event registration begins at 11:30 a.m., at the outdoor stage area directly across from Harrison Memorial Hall.

The walk begins at 1 p.m., and the day-long event will include a silent auction, raffle and barbecue.

For more information, visit defeatdepression.ca.