May 3, 2019 5:29 pm
Updated: May 3, 2019 8:27 pm

Edmonton’s Great Stair Climb wraps up after grueling 24-hour event

WATCH ABOVE: A gruelling 24-hour fundraiser put on by the Mental Rescue Society supports a unique counselling service. Margeaux Maron has more from the stair climb.


A grueling 24-hour stair climb supporting mental health counselling services in Edmonton wrapped up Friday.

Participants climbed the 32-storey Telus House building as many times as they could, some going non-stop for a full day. This year’s record holder ascended the stairs 56 times, which translated to 39,000 steps.

Organizers estimate there were 350 participants throughout the 24 hours. Eight people climbed for the entire 24-hours straight.

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The Great Stair Climb is put on by the Mental Rescue Society which raises funds for Edmonton’s Momentum Walk-in Counselling.

The event’s co-founder, Paul Semeniuk, says it’s a critical service in our city.

READ MORE: Thinking about trying therapy? Here’s what Edmontonians need to know

“They are setting up people who are in crisis with counsellors, [or] with psychologists,” Semeniuk said. “It’s a pay-what-you-can service, so it’s a great tool and resource in our community that we wanted to bring attention to.”

“Mental health touches everybody. There’s nobody that can hide from it. It affects us all in different ways and that’s a lot of the reason why we started this.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Firefighter’s death prompts discussion about PTSD, mental health

Semeniuk says the money is important but opportunity to build a community of like-minded mental health advocates is what keeps him engaged.

“It allows people to have this community they didn’t know existed in order to lean on one another’s words.”

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