Running to create mental health for all

RUN4HOPE CHARITY PROGRAM: Featuring the Canadian Mental Health Association

More than $14.5 million dollars has been raised for charities through the non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society’s RUN4HOPE program at the BMO Vancouver Marathon. Thank you!

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Running to create mental health for all. You can help create a bright future for youth in our communities.

In Canada, over three million youth between the ages of 12-19 years old are at risk of developing a mental illness. Only one out of five of these youth will receive the mental health services they need for recovery. Even more staggering is that roughly 70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence. Identifying the early warning signs of a mental illness and timely intervention are vital to prevent problems from becoming serious.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) provides educational, recreational and leisure programs supporting children and youth impacted by mental issues across Canada. Today, we bring your attention to one of their upstream, early intervention programs offered here in Greater Vancouver, The Super Fun Groups.

The Super Fun Groups is a recreation-based program for children and youth aged 8-17, who have a parent with serious mental illness and/or addiction. The program increases the social network of children, builds resilience, and promotes social skills development and self-confidence.

Research has shown that children who grow up in households with parents with a mental illness have significantly increased risk of developing mental illness or other emotional problems. These children face unique challenges and often miss opportunities for socialization and recreation due to factors such as lack of financial resources, lack of transportation and the impact of their parents’ mental illness on their ability to plan and carry out these events.

The CMHA Super Fun Groups support the mental health of families by providing monthly outings that provide social and recreational experiences for children while giving the parents opportunities to take care of their own wellness needs.

There is no cost to the family for children to participate. It includes a healthy lunch and a full day of activities. Children are picked up from their home in the morning and dropped off at the end of the day, thus totally minimizing any stress on the parents. Currently, CMHA Vancouver-Fraser Branch Super Fun Groups support residents of Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby and Surrey.

Thanks to the BMO Vancouver Marathon RUN4HOPE program, runners who support CMHA help to raise funds to continue with these Child and Youth programs. Your donations can help create a bright future for youth in our communities.

Please join our team as one of the Canadian Mental Health Association runners. To learn more, connect to CMHA RUN4HOPE or contact [email protected]

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), founded in 1918, is one of the oldest voluntary organizations in Canada. Each year, CMHA provides direct service to more than 100,000 Canadians through the combined efforts of more than 10,000 volunteers and staff across Canada in over 120 communities.

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I run to strengthen not only my body but also my mind. Did you know that running is proven to increase brain power, reduce stress, and help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment? After a good long run I find myself in my own element – happy, relaxed, and energized. Running has also helped with increasing my mental capacity and discipline to go the extra mile. Whenever I am faced with obstacles in life, I look to running as time to reflect, gain perspective and determine my next steps.


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Learn more about the RUN4HOPE program