A local resident is raising awareness and funds for mental health by walking from Saskatoon to Lloydminster. Walk the Talk is encouraging residents to join the 6-day hike along the highway for a total of 279 km with the end goal of changing lives for the better.
“I hope with [the walk] we can save at least one life. On the male side, I hope we can get more comfortable talking about mental illness,” Paul Labarge says he was inspired to make a difference after losing his father to suicide in August.
“I think for us male we have always been raised that you have to be tough, you have to suck it up. If you show any weakness that’s how people look at it.”
Anyone who signs up for the walk does not have to participate in the whole route. Labarge says anyone is also welcomed support the walkers along the highway.
The walk will begin on August 26 at the Sask Tel centre in Saskatoon and will conclude in the Gold Horse Casino parking lot in Lloydminster on August 31.
Laberge is accepting donations and silent auction items during the walk which will go towards the Lloydminster Health Foundation’s Project Sunrise. The mental health initiative looks to increase the support system for anyone affected by mental illness.
“I think it is so important for people to get educated about mental health, so if someone in your family or friends
are struggling you can be an ear, and just listen. Sometimes this helps more than people even imagine.”