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CMHA’s Run For Women event supports local mental health programs

The Run for Women's event will be virtual this year and it goes this Sunday across Canada. CMHA Waterloo Wellington - Facebook

Get out and run or walk for a good cause this week.

CMHA Waterloo Wellington and Shoppers Drug Mart are hosting its 9th annual Run for Women event.

Leading up to the national event this Sunday, you can choose to either walk or run five or 10 kilometres anywhere you want.

Alison Demuy is the director of strategy and she says due to the pandemic, this year’s initiative is more significant than the ones in the past.

“Our messaging was always that the numbers were about one in five; people at some point in their lifetime would experience a mental health or addictions challenge,” she said.

“And I think after the year and a half that we’ve experienced collectively, most people would say that number is now five in five. That at some point in the last 16 to 18 months you’ve experienced really what it is to feel those lows, and to feel the difficulty of getting out of bed in the morning, the difficulty and the fear and anxiety that comes with poor mental health.”

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Demuy says women in particular have been affected by this as a lot of the jobs that were put on pause due to national lockdowns.

She adds taking on the brunt of child care and family situations has also had an impact on women over the past year.

The initiative started yesterday, and you can complete your walk or run between July 4th and 11th.

Demuy says the benefit is you can go anywhere to complete your run or walk.

“It can be at an interesting location or it can just be in your backyard, neighbourhood, wherever you want to be. And all of the proceeds from this, of course, go to support women’s mental health programs in Waterloo and Wellington, so the money stays local,” she said.

“And it’s also a great event for your own mental health and physical health. To get outside, socially distance with your friends and your family and feel good about what you’re doing but also use the chance to get out and move, which is great.”

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She says they encourage every family member to be a part of this initiative, however the focus is particularly on the needs of women in the community.

It’s $45.00 to register for the event and you can sign up on their website.

Demuy says the registration fee include a technical t-shirt, a bracelet and a swag bag that has over $100 worth of products from Shoppers Drug Mart.

“Not only are you supporting your local community, but you get a little bit of something back in return and it really is a fantastic event,” she said.

“And again, it’s really easy to participate this year because it’s on your own time, it’s at your own location but you are in fact making a big difference.”

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