Shubie Park walkers raise $100K for help phone
Nearly 1,000 people gathered Sunday at Dartmouth's Shubie Park for the 10th annual Kids Help Phone Walk.
The walk, which raised close to $100,000, had special meaning for friends and relatives of young people who recently took their own lives.
One of the walkers was Pam Murchison whose daughter, Jenna Bowers-Bryanton, 15, took her own life in January after constant on-line bullying.
"I think that kids need to know that there is a place that they can call and a place where there's someone they can talk to that's going to get them through a hard period in their life," Murchison, of Belmont, said.
"I know Jenna accessed the help phone a couple of times."
The biggest team in the walk was Team Emily.
Emily McNamara, 14, of Lower Sackville, took her own life just over a month ago. More than 100 people walked in her memory, including her friend, Katie McNeil.
"I'm just glad I can be a part of the team. I think this is a really important part of healing and trying to breathe, which none of us have really had a chance to do that yet," Katie said.
In addition to bullying, the Kids Help Phone — a national organization aimed at helping children in need of immediate counselling — aids young people deal with issues such as drug abuse, depression, and grief.
Last month, Education Minister Ramona Jennex announced the Nova Scotia government was setting up a task force on cyberbullying.