January 12, 2019 5:37 pm
Updated: January 16, 2019 11:22 am

Dip for Mental Health: Nova Scotia trio commits to 31-day Polar Dip

WATCH: Dozens of people braved the chilly temperatures on Saturday and did a Polar Dip to raise money and awareness for mental health services in Nova Scotia. Graeme Benjamin has the details.


A trio of brave young men have vowed to take the plunge for mental health every day in January, all to raise money and awareness for mental health services in Nova Scotia.

Koko McNeill, Sid Fraser and Mitchell Hippern are performing a 31-day dip for mental health. All the money they raise throughout the month will be given to Phoenix Youth House.

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For they say the importance of talking about mental health is something he holds close to his heart.

“When I was younger, I dealt with a lot of mental health challenges, depression, anxiety, panic attacks,” McNeill said. “I knew at a pretty young age that [mental health] was something I wanted to get involved with.”

READ MORE: Thousands attend 99th annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim in English Bay

The trio have done most of the jumps into the Bedford Basin. But on Saturday, they somehow convinced dozens of their peers to simultaneously take the plunge at Halifax’s Point Pleasant Park.

With the temperature sitting at a frigid minus 8 and a wind chill of minus 17, to say Saturday’s jump was on the colder side would be an understatement.

“The car’s running,” said one dipper after the plunge. “If only you could drive it down to the beach.”

“I don’t feel much at all, actually. I’m a little hungover,” said another.

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But NcNeill says the temporary rush from the icy cold Atlantic is worth it if it helps raise money and awareness of mental health services in the province.

“A lot of people that I know that have been impacted by mental health challenges or mental illnesses have reached out and said, ‘Thank you so much for doing this,’” says McNeill.

“It’s been wicked.”

READ MORE: Chilly New Year’s Day dip for a good cause in Penticton

The three men have currently raised $3,000 for Phoenix Youth, with the funds specifically earmarked for the youth and family therapy program, as well as the youth drop-in centre.

With a goal of $10,000, they feel they’re well on their way.

“Phoneix Youth, they deal with a lot of different challenges for youth, a lot of different obstacles that youth have in general,” McNeill says. “A lot of the youth in the shelters there have mental health issues, so hopefully the money we raise will help.”

All the money raised from the Dip for Mental Health will be donated at the end of the month. Until then, you can follow their journey through the #DipForMentalHealth hashtag on Facebook and Instagram.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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