Iqaluit teen tackles solo 5km walk for Kids' Help Phone
A 14-year-old in Iqaluit is taking steps on Sunday to raise awareness about mental health.
Kiyanna Drachenberg is Iqaluit's sole participant in the nationwide Walk So Kids Can Talk in support of Kids Help Phone.
The annual five-kilometre walk takes place across Canada and raises money for the national 24-hour helpline. There was no organized walk in Iqaluit, so Drachenberg raised over $600 for her solo walk.
"I figured I should probably be walking for Kids Help Phone because every day they help a lot of people with mental health issues, especially people my age," she said.
Drachenberg says 30 per cent of the calls Kids Help Phone receives are mental-health related. She says she experiences anxiety, and her mom has bipolar disorder.
Her mom Catherine Lightfoot says the stigma of mental illness is being addressed at an earlier age.
"It's just really important that kids start talking about this early because it's going to make a difference for their entire lives."