Nova Scotia

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.

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.

 

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