Run for Women ending shame surrounding women’s mental health

All of the proceeds raised will go to the Women’s Mental Health Clinic.

The tenth annual Run for Women is supporting women’s mental health in Calgary.

The Calgary Health Foundation has partnered with LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ Run for Women, with the funds going towards the Women’s Mental Health Clinic located at the Foothills Medical Centre.

“We’ve made some huge strides in both the investment we’ve been able to make in the Women’s Mental Health Clinic to support women in pregnancy and postpartum with their mental health and also in the growth of the run to make this event part of the community and something that people really look forward to,” Director of Communications at Calgary Health Foundation Valerie Ball said.

The clinic provides services to women experiencing mental health challenges who are considering pregnancy, are pregnant, or are within one year of postpartum.

“Nearly one in five women will experience mental health difficulties, such as major depression or anxiety disorders, during this reproductive stage of life. The past two years have exposed inequities for women’s mental health that we need to address,” Ball said. “Demands for mental health services have increased significantly. Healthy women are key to healthy communities, and they need more of our support.”

With the support of the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart program, and everyone who has participated in the Run for Women, the clinic has expanded services and is now offering support for family members.

“Every dollar raised by the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ Run for Women supports mothers, daughters and friends in our community in taking the next step to recovery. We’re always looking to grow fundraising each year to help support and expand these critical programs. Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference for women in our community,” Ball said.

“There is still a lot of stigma and shame around mental health, and we need to come together and talk about it, support each other, and ensure we are taking care of our own mental wellbeing,” she added. “Together, we’re advancing the very important conversation about women’s mental health and helping to break down the stigma around it.”

On June 12 at Edworthy Park Run for Women participants can expect an environment with positive energy, support, and inspiration, in addition to various activities to enjoy before and after the run.

The Run for Women is a run for everyone, with a 5km walk, a 5km run, a 10km run, and a 1km Little Steps race to encourage children to get involved.

“This is a run for everyone, so whether you are an experienced runner or walker or looking to do something with your family and friends together it’s a great experience,” Ball said. “The best way to get involved is to get involved.”

Ball encourages everyone to create a team, invite friends and family to join the team, or come alone.

“The incredible part about the event is that everyone that participates is showing up for each other and themselves. It’s not only for women, but anyone can also join and support the women in their lives,” Ball said.

The Run for Women is accomplishing three goals, including breaking down barriers around women’s mental health, raising funds to provide more and better access to services, and putting mental health first by getting involved in exercise and connecting with like-minded individuals.

To donate to the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ Run for Women and support women’s mental health in Calgary, visit runforwomen.ca or calgaryhealthfoundation.ca.

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