Calgary Counselling Centre thanks everyone who came out May 30th and May 31st to support Clara Hughes, six-time Olympic medallist, in her ride across Canada to increase awareness of mental health. Your support and participation helped to increase awareness and start the conversation to reduce the stigma associated with mental health in our community. We are grateful to have been chosen as the Community Champion for Calgary.
Clara was joined by Paralympic cycling medallist Jay Milley and ‘Depressed Comic’ Kevin Breel in a question and answer session on mental health. The three mental health advocates discussed their experience with mental health and talked about their own personal journeys with depression.
Clara talked about how depression has affected her. “Nothing outside of you, no amount of money in your bank account, no matter how big your house is or how many cars you have or, in my case, how many Olympic medals are in this bag,” said Clara, “those things cannot fix a void that is inside.” She says “the thing I am most proud of is that I never gave up.”
For Clara, knowing she is making a difference in the lives of Canadians helps her during the most difficult moments of her journey. “At points of utter exhaustion, physically and emotionally, on this ride, it’s honestly what keeps me going.”
“Not only is this community event a great way to bring together Calgarians, but it’s an important opportunity to further our efforts to increase awareness, reduce stigma and support mental health in our community.” Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner, CEO of Calgary Counselling Centre.
Thanks to Clara Hughes for helping spread awareness of mental health and to Bell for helping Clara make this dream a reality. Thanks to the numerous volunteers, staff members and participants who helped ensure the success of the event. We thankour event sponsors: Resolve Legal, West Springs Cougar Ridge Community Association and Calgary French & International School and the agencies who participated in the mini mental health fair: CMHA – Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Woods Homes, Kids Help Phone, Schizophrenia Society of Alberta, Distress Centre – ConnecTeen.
A special thanks to the Youth Planning Committee students, Kyra Bradley, Andy Tertzakian, Bana Helou and Qahir Haji from Western Canada High School and Calgary French & International School.
Last but not least, thank you to the session sponsors: Studio Sat Nam for providing Kundalini Yoga and Disability Advocates for the drumming sessions.
It’s with the support of our community that we can make change to impact mental health stigma and awareness.
Here are a few event photos to share with you: