Edmonton man bats for mental health aid: ‘It’s my turn to give back’
Jeremy Cummins, a bright-eyed, outgoing individual, has masked his dark thoughts for months. His thoughts no longer loom in the shadows as he lends his voice to help others. His story offers guidance to others reckoning with the realities of suicide.
A couple of months ago, Cummins attempted to take his life by overdosing on pills. His battle with mental health continued until St. Patrick’s Day night when he received a call from his mother. Her instincts warned her that her son was unwell and needed help.
“I knew I needed help but I didn’t know what that help looked like,” Cummins said.
Later that night, Cummins was admitted into the Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert.
“My mom called me out of the blue because she felt something was off. I look back at that call and see it as a life-changing moment that I am forever grateful for,” Cummins said.
His mental health scare prompted his desire to encourage others to reach out and access help. Cummins has begun a new initiative called YEG Talks, a website which welcomes individuals who are struggling to access help and share their story. He hopes to fight the stigma that surrounds mental health and bring awareness to the multitude of resources that are on offer around the city.
“It is difficult to talk about the demons you face day to day but if you have the resources and tools at your convenience it makes the battle a little easier.”
Cummins, in association with YEG Talks, has organized a 24-hour baseball game taking place on Aug. 18 at the RE/MAX Field in Edmonton. The event plays host to 16 teams which are made up of predominately local restaurant workers.
“The idea behind the baseball event is to establish a safe environment where people are okay in sharing their stories and are directed to the right people and resources if they are seeking help,” Cummins said.
The event will support Cummins’ hopes of raising awareness for mental health in Edmonton and allow him to raise funds for the Momentum Walk-In Counselling facility, which helped him through his hardships.
“They were the first organization I reached out and talked to. They helped me in recognizing the resources that are around for help and were very supportive towards my health and life moving forward.”
The baseball event targets a younger demographic but all members of the public are invited to watch and support the individuals taking part. Cummins believes younger individuals are typically less vocal about their mental well-being and hopes an event of this magnitude can emphasize the importance of ending the stigma.
“Ones mental health is difficult to talk about and the issue is more than medicine can cure. A lot of tools and resources are required to aid the journey and this message is what I hope to offer individuals and the public,” Cummins said.
“I wanted the help. I accessed the help. It’s my turn to give back.”
If you know anyone who is in need of help, click here for access to tools and resources. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.