Pains & Gains for Brains
I plan to donate at least $0.10 for every kilometre I run from June to September. I am a very active person, and physical activity is a positive coping mechanism for my own anxiety and depression. I have battled through bouts of depression and struggled with anxiety throughout much of my life. I want people to be able to access the support they need. Everyone deserves treatment and support. We all need to do our part in ending the stigma surrounding EVERY mental health disorder. We all have brains, personalities and emotions and we all come from different backgrounds and thus, have experienced varying levels of trauma. We all come into the world as completely innocent infants, and we all deserve the support, care, empathy and love inherent to the human experience.
I am supporting CMHA Calgary because there is currently a crisis in our society regarding mental health and I want to make a difference in my local community. There has been an unprecedented increase in anxiety, depression, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, addictions and other mental health disorders since the beginning of the pandemic. Especially among our youth. Children have been dealing with long bouts of isolation, school closures and being cut off from the activities that they love. For example, my little sister loves dancing and hanging out with her friends. Her favorite activity - one of the things that brings her the most joy in life - she has been unable to practice in a studio for over a year. She would normally have friends over frequently and unfortunately for a long period, that could not happen. It is heartbreaking to watch. Human beings and especially children, are meant to socialize with each other in order to develop connections and social skills. Our youth today do not have that opportunity, and we need to do our part to support them. A donation to CMHA Calgary, or another CMHA branch, supports them, it supports you, it supports your loved ones. Because we all deal with varying degrees of mental health illness in some form, at some point in life.
You can support me in a variety of ways. First, you can donate to this cause. I would like to raise a total of $10,000 by the end of September for CMHA Calgary. Second, you can get active and in effect, support your own mental health. It is so important to move your body and get outside if possible. Third, you can research other mental health initiatives and organizations. Skylar Roth-MacDonald is currently running across Canada and raising funds for CMHA Canada with his Miles for Smiles fundraiser - you can donate to his cause and other causes as well. And finally, I would encourage you to support yourself and your community by researching mental health disorders, showing empathy for anyone who may be suffering and striving to be the best person that you can be. I find that has helped me rise out of my own dark periods - focusing on my dreams, supporting others and aiming to be better than the day before.