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Run for Women raises $65,000 for Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Centre

Click to play video: 'Monctonians run in support of local crisis centre' Monctonians run in support of local crisis centre
WATCH ABOVE: In Moncton a run in support of a local crisis centre was held on Sunday. Roughly a thousand people laced up their shoes to cap off their weekend in the run for women. Callum Smith has more – May 5, 2019

Approximately 1,000 participants from across the Maritimes laced up their shoes Sunday for the Run for Women in Moncton.

Instead of being about who’s first at the finish line, though, this run was about raising awareness and funds to support mental health.

In all, $65,000 was raised for the Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Centre in Shediac, N.B.

“The crisis centre provides immediate short- and long-term counselling in crisis intervention to people who experience emotional difficulties and mental health issues all across southeast New Brunswick,” said Kristal LeBlanc, the centre’s executive director.

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Kristal LeBlanc, the executive director of the Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Centre, says money raised will go towards free and immediate support for women experiencing mental health issues. Callum Smith / Global News

With a goal of getting some physical activity and raising mental health awareness, the run hit home for some of those taking part, with participants sharing some of their personal stories.

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“I, myself, have a history of dealing with mental health,” remarked Gwenda Sibley, who came from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

“I’ve been on anti-depressants since I was about 23, and work in the mental health industry in the pharmacy, and we’re just here to help out wherever we can.”

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Harley Rose, another person who laced up their shoes for the cause, is optimistic the atmosphere and awareness raised will help for years to come.

“I suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD) and it’s been a tough journey,” Rose said. “[I received] my diagnosis about a year ago, so I’m just trying to come to terms with it and seeing this makes me hopeful for future generations.”

WATCH: Tessa Virtue talks about life off the ice

Click to play video: 'Tessa Virtue Talks Life Off The Ice' Tessa Virtue Talks Life Off The Ice
Tessa Virtue Talks Life Off The Ice – Mar 19, 2019

The race featured an appearance from Tessa Virtue, known as one of ‘Canada’s sweethearts’ and an Olympic gold medalist in figure skating.

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She offered runners some encouragement at the starting line, before speaking to reporters about why she was there.

“Talking to the people here running, and walking and participating today, it’s so inspiring and it’s necessary,” Virtue said. “Because the stats are really troubling.”

Tessa Virtue, a Canadian figure skating champion, says mental health has an impact on everyone, including herself. Callum Smith / Global News

“A lot more needs to be done. We need to come to a point where just, like, everybody — well, hopefully everybody — has a family doctor, everybody should have someone that they can go talk to about their mental health,” says LeBlanc.

“We know that by 2020, it is the second leading cause of disability in the world.”

LeBlanc says physical activity can make a huge difference for someone suffering from mild-to-moderate depression, as well as anxiety.

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