St. Walburg to hold first ever Walk for Mental Wellness

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May 26, 2016 12:00 AM

The town of St. Walburg is holding its first ever Walk for Mental Wellness on Saturday, where supporters will walk to raise awareness and funds for people affected by suicide, mental illness, or addiction and recovery.
“Everybody is saying it’s great for healing,” said Shirley Wourms, committee member who started the walk. 
“It’s just a form of healing and we want to do this every year; we just feel that we want to help people who suffer with depression and addictions or any kind of metal illness, and those who are suffering with people they’ve lost to suicide.”
People who attend can buy T-shirts for $20 and different coloured ribbons for a dollar apiece and the ribbons will then be tied to trees on Main Street in respect of those affected by suicide, mental illness and addiction.
There will be three different coloured ribbons: yellow representing suicide, lime green for mental illness and navy blue for addictions and recovery.
When the local Legion branch heard about the plans it wanted to get on board too, and decided to plant the trees for the ribbons and also talked about amalgamating its Wounded Warriors program with the walk in the coming years.
“They’re going to be there representing the war veterans who are serving right now and the ones that they have lost,” said Wourms of the Legion members.
“So they’ll be all dressed up in uniform and be there when we’re tying the ribbons on, which I thought was great.”
Any money that comes in from the ribbons and shirts will also be donated to the group Friends of Letzieg, who sponsor people struggling and get them into programs.
Wourms got the idea for the walk after losing her son and his family four years ago to a tragic incident stemming from his mental illness.
She said her family had donations given to them at the funeral and didn’t know what to do with them, so she came up with the idea to put on a walk for mental wellness.
Neil Harris of Lloydminster, who works with Alberta Health Services, will also be a guest speaker and share his knowledge as an addictions and mental health facilitator.
The walk itself is about 3.1 kilometres with Graham’s Food Store donating lunch and the St. Walburg Inn giving refreshments at the finish line.
“I’m just amazed at how many people got on board with this and are really interested in taking part in it,” said Wourm.

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