Here in southeast Manitoba, there is a volunteer organization called Imagine: Mental Health Matters. Their goal is to defeat the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding mental health and suicide. From their website:
“Imagine is a tool to draw attention to a disease so no one feels the need to suffer in silence. Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds the resources for coping with pain. Imagine is trying to provide direction to those resources when needed.”
If you’re reading this, it’s probably no surprise that mental health is something I’ve struggled with, and advocate for. I’ve seen glimpses of the damage suicide does to families and friends when a loved one takes their life. I’ve been close to taking my own life.
6 days from now, almost down to the hour, I’ll be setting off on my first “official” 5k run. I’m running to challenge myself – to show that I can do it. I running because I’ve struggled with it. I’m running to show solidarity with people and families who are facing mental illness or who have lost a loved one to suicide. I’m going (and hopefully feeling social enough) to meet people like me.
I’ll drop a few links if you’re interested, or would like to come, either to cheer on the participants, or to participate yourself. There’s more information in the links below, and each of them has a link where you can donate to Imagine. Anything you can do would be so greatly appreciated. Money helps, of course – but so does understanding, compassion, and companionship.
I hope to see you there. If you see me come say hello.
I am using the logo for Imagine Mental Health without permission at the time I am posting this because if I’m honest it was a last second idea. I will be emailing them with a direct link to this post with an explanation. If asked I will remove the logo and replace it with something else. I am not a volunteer of Imagine Mental Health, nor am I sponsored by them. My only affiliation with them is that I will be participating in the Color Run for which I purchased a registration fee.
UPDATE SEPT 18: I recieved an email from Imagine: Mental Health Matters, and they have approved the use of their logo for this post.