Old Man Winter might be a little slow loosening up his grip on the weather lately but that wasn’t about to stop the close to 200 people who braved a cold but sunny morning to take part in the first London Defeat Depression Walk and Talk for mental health fundraiser on Feb. 28.
Todd Devlin was one of the organizers behind the event and explained what it was all about.
“We are out here for a couple of reasons,” said Devlin. “Number one is to fight back against the stigma of mental illness and to spread the message that there is no shame in dealing with a mental health issue. And also number two, because there is no shame, to go out get and get some support if you need it.”
Devlin noted that there is a lot of support available here in London from a variety of different groups and organizations out there. Included among those are the London and District Distress Centre and CONNECT for Mental Health, the two agencies sharing the more than approximately $21,000 raised through the walk.
Originally scheduled to follow a 2.5-kilometre loop around Victoria Park and through downtown, the route was shortened to two-kilometrs because of the recent extreme cold temperatures.
Following the walk, participants were invited back to Jim Bob Ray’s to hear from a couple of speakers, some live entertainment and a selection of light appetizers.