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Chetwynd’s First Annual World Mental Health Day: “Walk and Talk”

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Smiling woman and smiling man wearing high visibility vests.
L-R: Organizers Charla Brazeau, Primary Care Nurse, Interprofessional Team 1; and Stan Fraser

Each year, organizations across the globe observe World Mental Health Day on October 10, a day that started in 1992 to promote mental health advocacy and to educate the public on relevant issues and topics.

This year, to commemorate the day, NH staff and residents in Chetwynd, BC organized the first annual Walk and Talk. Despite the brisk weather, dozens of people came out to show their support and help end the stigma.

The 26 km trek from Moberly Lake to Chetwynd encouraged participants to talk about their personal relationship with mental health, ask questions, and show that no one has to suffer alone.

Organized by Charla Brazeau, Primary Care Nurse, Chetwynd General Hospital, and local mental health advocate, Stan Fraser, the Walk and Talk had support from Northern Health, Saulteau Frist Nation, Chetwynd RCMP, Gerry’s Groceries, and Tim Hortons.

A man in a high vis vest walks along the side of a road with a young girl who is looking up at him.
Stan Fraser walks with the event’s attendees.

“Mental health is often overlooked as a ‘silent illness’,” says Charla. “This event was to make people aware that they are not alone in having a mental illness and there is always someone there who will be there for you and have a listening ear.”

Organizers are thrilled with the event’s success and hope to see even more people make it out next year.

Two smiling women pose for a selfie outside on a road lined with snow and trees.
L-R: Oshen Walker, Aboriginal Patient Liaison; and Charla Brazeau, Primary Care Nurse, Interprofessional Team 1
A view of a tree lined lake, hills on the horizon, and the sun shining in the sky.
The spectacular view from along the walk.
Two smiling women pose for a selfie inside a vehicle.
L-R: Oshen Walker, Aboriginal Patient Liaison; and Leona Clark, Saulteau First Nation Community Health Nurse.
A police SUV with lights flashing and an unmarked police truck on the road, next to a walker.
Walk and Talk participants get an official RCMP escort.