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7th annual Walk to Defeat Depression takes aim at mental health issues

Penticton Western News - 9/30/2018

Penticton's Mental Wellness Centre hosted its 7th annual Walk to Defeat Depression on Sept. 29 from Rotary Park to the S.S. Sicamous and back.

The event aims to raise awareness about mental health issues. Pledges raised by participants will "go towards better resources and supporting people living with mental illness and their families", according to the event website.

The Mental Wellness Centre's mission is to alleviate the suffering cause by mental illness and improve the quality of life for those affected, their families, and their friends. While the total fundraising amount has yet to be tallied, organizers hope to reach their $10,000 goal.

According to the event website, approximately 25 per cent of the people you know may be affected by mental illness. In addition, the Canadian Mental Health Association says "between 19.6 per cent and 26.2 per cent of British Columbians - about one million people - will experience a mental illness each year."

"This walk is an opportunity to make more people aware of mental health, it's been a big problem in our community today," said Obi Oniah, walk organizer and family support worker at the Mental Wellness Centre. "One in five Canadians are affected by mental health (issues) of some sort. So this can raise more awareness and hopefully it will sustain services for those people living with or affected by mental health.

As of Sept. 29, Valerie Gough remains the Penticton walk's top fundraiser, contributing $1,505 to the cause. Nest & Nectar, a popular restaurant in the city, recently hosted the event's fundraising dinner which contributed $1,600.

 
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