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Defeat Depression walk looking to raise mental health awareness

'So you need to find help, you need to step up. You need to go out and talk about this'
20190415 depression walk
Organize hold the Defeat Depression Walk launch at city hall this morning. Photo by Chris Dawson/

Memorial Drive will be the site for the first ever Defeat Depression Walk here in the city of North Bay.

A launch for the May 25th walk/run was made today at North Bay City Hall.  

Organizers are hoping to raise close to $10,000 which they say will go towards funding for more peer support worker training in the area.  

“That is providing direct one-on-one assistance and the more peer support workers there are in the community the more we are able to help,” said Ken Porter, one of the Defeat Depression organizers.

Porter, who has organized events like this across the country, believes bringing awareness to depression is very important.  

“There is a ton of stigma out there in the community where people do not feel comfortable coming forward to talk about this and it is not until we start thinking that mental illness is the same as physical illness, there is no difference,” said Porter.   

“That is a very important message that people need to understand that.  It you have a cold and you do not seek treatment, what happens is you get a flu. It you have a mental illness and it continues to progress and you don’t seek treatment it gets worse the same way.

“So you need to find help, you need to step up. You need to go out and talk about this.”  

Mark Caldwell is hoping to continue to get more mental health education. As one of the Defeat Depression committee members, Caldwell has had challenges in life.  His mother died of cancer when he was a teen and his father committed suicide just a couple years ago.

“I have tried to be hyper-positive and I still got top marks in school although my family fell apart,” he said.  

“The goal of my life is to stay positive.”    

He says he’s already raised more than $2,000 towards the local Defeat Depression Walk which will start at 9 a.m. on May 25th. 

“I want to help people because no one else is doing it and I want to inspire people like you, like somebody else that they can make a difference too,” said Caldwell.  

“So I raise all this money but you need to start doing something, all of you need to as well or nothing will get done.”   

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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