Island chiropractor dons 50-pound vest to raise money for Lennon Recovery House

Island chiropractor Vincent Adams is wearing a 50-pound vest around to raise money for Lennon Recovery House in Rustico.

Vincent Adams hopes fundraising campaign raises awareness fo mental health on P.E.I.

Vincent Adams says he's starting to feel the pain of wearing a 50-pound vest. (CBC)

Vincent Adams has some extra weight on his shoulders these days.

The Island chiropractor is wearing a 50-pound vest to raise money for Lennon Recovery House in Rustico, P.E.I., and to raise awareness about mental health.

The house is still in the renovation phase and organizers say donations are critical to the project.

"I've had a lot of patients with mental issues over the years," Adams told CBC's Island Morning.

It has opened my eyes bigtime to the needs, we have a lot of work to do in mental health.— Vincent Adams

"You always hear … the phrase 'the weight of the world on my shoulders' when people are depressed or anxious."

He's titled his fundraiser just that: The Weight of the World.

Adams said his wife is good friends with Dianne Young — the Island mother who's been working to get the house up and running in honour of late son, Lennon Waterman, who took his own life in 2013 — and was surprised by the number of people who weren't aware of the house and its story.

That motivated him to don the heavy vest.

Hopes to raise $5K

By wearing the vest around day and night, Adams hopes to raise $100 for every pound on the vest, or $5,000 total.

Though he's only worn the vest for a short time so far, he's already feeling the pain. The vest has been digging into his shoulder and even left it "beet red" at one point, he said.

He is no stranger to aches, however. As a chiropractor, he sees pain on a daily basis and said "one thing that'll get you depressed is having pain for a long period of time," he said.

Lennon House is still in the renovation phase and organizers say donations are critical to the project. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

So far he's raised nearly $1,000 and if all goes well he won't have to wear the vest for much longer, he said, as the response to his campaign has been overwhelming.

"It has opened my eyes big time to the needs, we have a lot of work to do in mental health," he said.

"I was thinking to myself if I was a politician, I would listen to my constituents and they are speaking loud and clear to me."

Donations to the Lennon Recovery House can be made online or at Adam's Summerside or Charlottetown office.

With files from Island Morning