CORNWALL, Ontario – Lynn Sedgwick can recall the day she began her 750-km journey through eastern and central Ontario – the rain was pouring and her spirits were low.
The Williamstown wife and mother was literally taking her first steps in a 28-day journey which would take her from South Glengarry all the way to the Picton area one step at a time.
But with rain pouring down on that fateful day, June 26, she was having second thoughts.
“It took my son to take me by the hand,” she recalled in an interview with Seaway News. “He said ‘It’s time to take your first steps.'”
Those first few steps led her on an odyssey of self-discovery and healing that benefits the Canadian Mental Health Association both financially and otherwise.
Sedgwick has for years grappled with depression and panic disorders. At a reception in Cornwall as her walk wound down, she said drawing awareness to mental illness and people who struggle with it, made her sacrifices worth it.
“I have reached a point where I can see other people struggling,” she said. “What lead me to do this is I started healing.”
Her support team, which included her husband Rob Goodbun, would follow Sedgwick in an RV throughout her journey.
Jill Hodgson, an intensive case manager with the Cornwall office of CMHA, told Seaway News Sedgwick’s walk serves as an inspiration to many.
“This was her idea,” she said. “It demonstrates the possibilities for many who are affected by (mental illness).
“It’s demonstrating a growing awareness in the community.”
The local CMHA office serves thousands of people a year, said Hodgson, who added it can be difficult for people to even get through the front door, let alone admit they have a problem.
“There are obstacles…but this removes some of those barriers,” she said.
Sedgwick’s walk also raised more than $7,000 for the CMHA.