I'm excited to be joining thousands of walkers and runners across Canada in the first ever virtual Run for Women, brought to you by the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program raising help for women’s mental health programs at Women's College Hospital.
As a worker and long time advocate for mental health, I’m choosing to support this cause because people with mental illness have been hit especially hard during this pandemic. One of the major issues for anyone struggling with their mental health is isolation - it can be deadly. And COVID-19 has forced people into further isolation, removing the programs and supports that help people get through each day. Even Progress Place, where I have worked for over 13 years, had to shut its doors for the first time ever in its 35+ year operation. While staff are doing everything they can with the tools available, there is a huge need for more funding to address our mental health needs now and the impact this will have on developing safe programs for the future.
Secondly, it’s becoming more obvious how the effects of this pandemic are gendered. Whether it’s being disproportionally represented on the front lines as our health care or essential worker heros, as teachers putting in extra hours to maintain some semblance of school, or the women working full time jobs, homeschooling and taking care of their children, or taking leave from their careers to manage all this - Women are bearing the brunt of it.
And lastly, as a new mom, I have struggled at times with my own mental health over the past 9 months and understand how critical the programs to support women post-partum are.
Please consider donating to help me and Mary Hazel reach our fundraising goal. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to women’s mental health programs in our community. Together, we're going to raise some help.