by Andrea McRae
May is Mental Health Awareness month. Twenty percent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and socio-economic levels.
Stigma and discrimination attached to mental health issues present a serious barrier not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
The Defeat Depression Campaign, run under the Mood Disorders Society of Canada provides hope and works to reduce stigma for those who are affected by depression and other mood disorders. Across Canada communities, companies, schools and concerned volunteers plan walks, runs, rides and other physical and social activities to raise awareness and funds for mental health initiatives.
Sunday May 24th, Agassiz-Harrison Strides for Support group is hosting one of the four B.C. events at its 4th Annual Walk to Defeat Depression. The grassroots group of dedicated volunteers believe that by raising awareness, knowledge and acceptance of depression and other mental illnesses those affected will feel less isolated, and know that having a mental
health issue is no different than having a physical health issue. Help is available. This year’s walk is a 5.5 k walk/run/stroll at the Lagoon area in Harrison Hot Springs.