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Glow run aims to fight mental health stigma

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Ready, set, glow!

The Fort Frances branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) will be holding their “Steps Against Stigma” glow run at the Sorting Gap Marina tomorrow evening as part of their recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

CMHA educator Christie Cousineau said the annual event invites the public to turn out, dress up and run to support ending stigmas against those suffering with mental illness.

“It's not necessarily about the run itself,” Cousineau said.

"We're bringing awareness to reduce all forms of stigma around mental illness and then we're making people aware that mental illness affects everyone, directly or indirectly.

“So it's just a way to get people out and have a conversation to reduce the stigma around mental health and mental illness—and get a good run in. Exercise is part of self-care and creating positive mental health,” she noted.

Cousineau also said it's a good opportunity for everyone to socialize as a community.

As the name of the event suggests, the run began as an effort to combat mental health stigmas and provide participants with a fun way to achieve that goal. Cousineau said that the public is encouraged to take the “glow” in glow run as far as they want.

“People can dress up however they like for the glow run,” she explained.

"We do provide glow sticks as part of the registration. But if you come all glowed out, then there are prizes. We have an adult prize, a child prize and a pet prize this year, which is new.

“We find lots of people bring their dogs to the event, which is awesome. So we encourage people to glow as much as possible for the evening and have a lot of fun with it,” added Cousineau.

Registration is currently open, and will be up until the event starts at 7 p.m. tomorrow, but waiting until the last minute will cost you when it comes to the registration fee.

“If you show up at the Sorting Gap at 7 p.m., you're going to pay $15,” Cousineau said.

“Any time before that, it's $10. We're expecting a good turnout. We have had lots of positive responses from the community. So I'm really looking forward to it.”

Cousineau said she hopes the public will take note of the event and help support the cause.

“I just want everyone to come out and get their 'glow on,'” she said.

“Let's raise awareness about the stigma that surrounds mental health and mental illness and let's start a conversation in the community and support each other.”

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