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‘Mental health pandemic’: Edmonton advocates aim to give youth hope for future

Steven Vos completed an ultramarathon to raise money for mental health July 24, 2021.

The smoky sky didn’t stop a young local man from completing an ultramarathon in the name of mental health Saturday.

Steven Vos laced up for a loop from Terwillegar Park to Rundle Park and back — a total of around 70km — as part of “The More Than Your Mind 70KM Run” to support those struggling with mental illness.

Read more: Mental health could ‘bounce back’ post-pandemic, new research suggests

Vos, who has suffered from depression and anxiety in the past, is raising money for Mental Health Foundation Alberta, an organization that supports people struggling with their mental health and addiction.

He said the run was tough, but nothing like the struggle of mental health issues.

Vos has a goal of $10,000.

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Meantime, youth mental health was the focus of the Illuminated Wellness Fair held by the CASA Youth Council.

The day included a variety of mental health-related activities, games and discussions.

Organizers say they wanted to offer meaningful support to local youth.

“We have a mental health pandemic right now, not only in Edmonton, Alberta, but Canada as a country. We want every youth to have a future, and we want that future to include mental wellness,” said Victoria Fehr, CASA youth chair.

The fair was aimed at 13-25-year-olds.

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