The 12th Annual Walk for Wellness and Suicide Prevention was held on Sunday, September 10th with another full crowd of those wearing white for suicide prevention walking to the tune of Connor Jednorog's bagpipes.
Organizer, Heather Jackson has been an integral part of the event. She continues to organize the Walk for Wellness and Suicide Prevention in honour of her two sons who passed away from suicide.
“It’s very important to myself and my family and it’s obvious that it’s important for the community. So many people are affected by mental health and suicide,” she said.
Every year, Jackson says the support the event receives is very touching for her and her family.
“Every year we're always overwhelmed with selling auction donations. We haven't always fundraised just for the last four years we started fundraising. We've just been overwhelmed with the amount of donations and support. Every year we try to reach more and more people, it's hard to get the word out there, but hopefully we can do that increasingly every year,” she explained.
Jackson is hoping that people were able to walk away from the event with an understanding of how important self-care is when you're struggling with mental health.
“Stepping back from things when you're getting overwhelmed and just not feeling the pressure I think to perform every day, and just having that down time for some mental health care [is really important],” she added.
This year, the event was fundraising in support of Anam Rural Youth Association which is a mobile mental health support service that provides crisis intervention for high-risk youth.
“They are a free resource for the Central Alberta community. They travel around doing care with young adults while aged 13 up to 25,” added Jackson.
Bottles and monetary donations were being accepted in support of the organization. The donations haven’t been totaled yet but Jackson was impressed with the support.
“I think the community was really generous,” she added.
Overall, Jackson was pleased with the outcome of the event.
“I hope that everyone who attended took something important away with them and they enjoyed the day as much as we did. I hope they realize how much self-care is important and will share that with anyone they know who's struggling,” she added.
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