McMaster group runs to beat mental health stigma
More than 100 people came out to Cope's Move for Mental Health run at McMaster Sunday, raising about $1,700 dollars for mental health initiatives along the way.
"We had people of all ages — very young kids all the way up to a very…mature woman, put it that way," laughed event co-ordinator Tabitha Jamieson.
Jamieson says the event was started to get people speaking openly about depression and other mood disorders on top of necessary fundraising efforts.
"There is an intense stigma around mental health," she said. "But people need to speak out if they don't feel right. There is help out there."
While those discussions are often very serious out of necessity, Cope is also doing its best to make things a little "lighter and more accessible," she said.
Cope is heading into its fifth year as an organization at McMaster. It was created by students in 2008 to tackle the stigma and awareness issues surrounding mental illness, and to act as a "facilitator" for students to get the help they need.
"I was surprised that there wasn't an organization at McMaster like us before we existed," Jamieson said. "We all need the support, as this is a really stressful time in our lives."
Mental health awareness week starts this week, and Cope will be a part of the McMaster mental health town hall taking place at the Student Wellness Centre on Monday.
Jamieson encourages anyone who might be struggling with mental health issues to come out and join them.
"Trust yourself. You are your own best advisor."