A rainy and majorly windy afternoon didn’t stop Mallory Smith and Christie Wolanuk from finishing a major trek for mental health awareness.
The two Libbie Young Centre mental health advocates crossed the finish line on their 270-kilometre walk from Saskatoon to Lloydminster Thursday afternoon, arriving at the Gold Horse Casino along with a crowd of supporters who joined them for the last leg of their trip.
The two had been walking for seven days, meeting with residents along the way and discussing mental health stories and awareness along the way.
Tired but feeling triumphant, Wolanuk explains that at their most physically and mentally exhausted, they thought about the people they help on a day to day basis.
“We’ve always wanted to get the word about [The Libbie Young Centre] out there, and reduce some of that stigma, get [everyone talking] and it just pushes you. Some days, you push and you don’t know how, but you push and you dig. We just kept saying ‘this pain is temporary, and everyone has they’re own battles. This is what we’re doing.'”
The two were not only walking for awareness but also as a fundraiser. So far, the duo has raised over $30,000 of their $50,000 goal, with proceeds going towards a new mental health Community Outreach Worker at the Libbie Young Centre.
This outreach support person would be able to help people with medication management, establishing healthy routines, financial literacy or mental health education and support, along with other related priorities.
Smith notes that the community support surrounding the walk and during it, along with the conversations they had, will leave them with a lifetime of memories.
“We received a lot of messages from friends, family, community members just pushing us on, and that was just basically the booster we needed every day to keep going.”
People can still donate if they wish in support of the walk. Links to find out more about it, or what the Libbie Young Centre does, are available on the Libbie Young Centre website.