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Walking for mental health awareness

Nick Seebruch

Published on October 4, 2016

CORNWALL, Ontario - A crowd of people made up of non-profit groups, students, and supporters walked down Montreal Road on Oct. 4 in support of Mental Health Awareness.

The 13th annual Mental Health Awareness Walk was organized by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). Several schools were involved including CCVS, Holy Trinity, St. Matthews, GDHS and St. Joes.

All along the route businesses were out to show their support for the walkers as well.

Joanne Moshonas, Manager of Mental Health Promotion at the CMHA's Cornwall branch said that simply raising awareness can have a real affect on the lives of people struggling with mental illness.

"The desired impact is that it gives the message of hope and let's people know that there are organizations and people here to help," she said. "People are recognizing that there is a connection between physical health and mental health."

One student taking part in the event said that she wanted people to know that there are people who are there to help out.

"Its a good thing to come out hand help people who suffer from depression," said 16-year-old Shania McMartin, a Grade 10 student at St. Matthews.

The CMHA also took the opportunity to recognize individuals who did their part to help promote mental health.

This year, the CMHA awarded the Consumer Hope and Resiliency Award to Keith Bourne.

Bourne lives with involuntary ticks and in August he planned to walk from Cornwall to Kitchener to raise money and awareness for this mental illness.

Bourne raised around $300, but had to stop at Kingston due to burns he sustained to his feet.

"Days like this are about getting better and taking a positive step," Bourne said.

The CMHA is a United Way supported organization.