The temperatures may have been a lower than most people prefer for spending a night in a tent, but that didn’t stop members of the Western student community who came out this past weekend to take part in the annual ABCampout for Mental Health.
Organized by Phi Gamma Delta in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the event is designed to help raise awareness and open the conversation about mental health. At the same time, it was also a chance to celebrate the life of Austen Berlet, a Western student and Phi Gamma Delta member who battled with bipolar disorder and depression before taking his own life in 2009.
While only around 50 of the more hearty souls spent the night camped out in Victoria Park, upwards of 500 people took part in various other activities that were a part of the event including a variety of live entertainment on the Kiwanis Memorial Bandshell stage, fraternity flag football tournament and yoga sessions.
Through donations and the proceeds raised at the event through merchandise sales and a silent auction, organizers hoped to raise $12,500 for the London-Middlesex branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.