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Hundreds come out in Sudbury to help 'defeat depression'


It was a moving scene in Greater Sudbury Saturday morning as hundreds made it out to take part in the 10th Annual Defeat Depression Walk/Run at Bell Park.

The annual event raises funds for the Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA) and the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.

Sudbury MPP Jamie West had many in the crowd moved as he told a story about his own personal struggles with mental health and how it was family who helped recognize there was an issue that had to be addressed.

"I want to congratulate each and every one of you who are here today because you are a lighthouse for people in the dark, he said.

“You are somebody they can reach out to, to have a conversation."

The city’s Ward 5 councillor Mike Parent told CTV News it was a great turnout.

“It shows the level of community support for something like mental health, illness and depression," said Parent.

"Coming out of the pandemic, we know this is an issue in all communities so I'm really pleased to see the turnout and the support for this."

Sudbury has become one of the top markets for the 'Defeat Depression' campaign with almost half the funds raised in the city making up what they raise on the national level.

"Fundraising is nice and it's a good fundraiser but really, to see 350 and that's my estimation, 250 people walking around here and being okay with saying 'hey mental health is here and it's not something to be ashamed of' is amazing," said NISA Executive Director Martin Boucher.

"I've had the pleasure of hearing stories through my tenure here with NISA and I've had stories from all walks of life, all ages and we all know someone or are affected ourselves with mental health," said event organizer Lindsey Chamberland.

Shirley Rajotte is the peer coordinator for the NISA Older Adult Peer Support Program. She came out, all decked out in her NISA gear and made sure to get herself a seat in the front row.

Hundreds descended on Sudbury's Bell Park Saturday morning in a bid to 'defeat depression." The 10th Annual Defeat Depression Walk was held with funds being raised for the Northern Initiative for Social Action and the Mood Disorders Society of Canada. (Ian Campbell/CTV News Northern Ontario)"People are afraid to talk about their mental health because they're afraid there is something wrong with them, but there's not,” she said.

“There is nothing wrong with them,"

Participants said every little bit helps. Passersby, likely, no doubt felt the optimism from many of them that 'defeating depression' is possible.

"Sometimes we have good mental health, sometimes we have poor mental health and it's a really important cause to raise money for," said participant Karen Henze.

Officials said the goal here, if anything, is to show people 'it's okay, not to be okay;' adding one in two adults will have experienced some sort of mental health challenge at some point in their lifetime.

For more information on the event, visit their Facebook page. Top Stories

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