WINNIPEG — Junel Malapad knew he had to do something when his daughter came home from school distraught in May after two students at her school died by suicide.
“Something like that could affect not only her but the whole household, the whole community was kind of devastated,” Malapad said.
He wanted to make sure his daughter and other teenagers knew where to get mental health support in Winnipeg if they need it.
“Sometimes people need medication or some kind of counselling so they can do whatever they need to do day to day,” said Malapad.
So Malapad decided to help by raising money and awareness for the Canadian Mental Health Association, by running 45-kilometers up and down Garbage Hill on a blistering June day, his 45th birthday.
The experienced marathoner hoped to raise $1,000 with the 45-kilometer run. So far, he’s surpassed $3,500.
“It’s important for all of us because raising awareness, getting this conversation going, having our community understand that this is happening leads to other conversations,” said Marion Cooper, the executive director of the Winnipeg branch of the Canadian Mental Health Assocation.
The goal is to help Manitobans battling problems that aren’t always visible.
“Everyone has something that’s going on in the background in their life and just be aware,” said Malapad. “Someone might be having a bad day and there’s a reason for that.”
For more information about where to get help or to donate click here.