Creating awareness over mental health, countering stigma, goals of Dare to B U event

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B U Run. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

By Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

www.thevanguard.ca

 

Organizers of this year’s Dare to B U event say they hope continued education and dialogue will help to remove the unfair stigma they say some wrongly associate with mental health illness, but most importantly they want to ensure that those in need of help don’t let any barrier prevent them from reaching out.

On Saturday, May 10, the Dare to B U Event will bring awareness to the various facets of mental health and introduce innovative ways of coping for people of all ages through speakers and a wide variety of interactive displays. This year's event is a followup to one held last year. (You can read about last year's initiative here.) 

When a B U event was held last year, a message of the event was that people deserve to be themselves without being judged. Without being mocked. Without worrying about being bullied. Without trying to fit into the definition of what others define as “being beautiful.” They want people to feel that they can talk openly about what they’re experiencing. And so organizers created an event aimed at raising awareness about the effects mental health can have on youth and society in general, and how low self-esteem, peer pressure, bullying and other factors can affect a person’s mental health.

This effort of community awareness continues. 

Dare to B U is also billed as a family event. Aside from the speakers and displays,  another component of the event following the presentation by the speakers is a choice of a 3K or 5K run or walk.

This event is being held at École secondaire de Clare in Meteghan River. Registration for the walk/run begins at 8:30 a.m. The speakers and sessions associated with the event will get underway at 9:30 a.m. with the run/walk beginning, rain or shine, at 11 a.m.

Registration will be free for pre-schoolers, is $5 for students, $10 for university students, $15 for adults and $25 for families. The run/walk registration cost incudes a kit that includes a t-shirt, collapsible water bottle, bracelet and bib.

An idea behind the bracelet is that people can write the name(s) of the person(s) they are remembering or supporting on their bracelet.

The free displays that will be set up for the morning are available to the public starting at 8:30 a.m. and do not require registration to access.

Over 200 people attended this event when it was held last year for the first time. But this event is not just an annual one-day blitz. Since last year’s event, and as will be the case when this year’s event is over, organizers have strived to make mental health awareness and education a year-round thing.

The group has a Facebook page – Dare to B U – and Register.com is helping with the building of a website.

As well, coinciding with this year’s event Chelsea Comeau, a producer, director and writer at River Point Films is creating another promotional video for Dare to B U. She will be filming on May 10 to include some of the components of the day within the video. The purpose of this video and other awareness promotion and education is to raise hope for survivors and those living with issues related to mental health. The video will also include efforts of awareness that have been taking place since the B U Run in 2013.

Registration forms for this weekend’s event can be downloaded from the Facebook page or picked up from any Caisse Populaire de Clare location. There is also the option for direct payment at a Caisse Populaire (credit union) where an account has been set up. As mentioned, people can also register on the day of the event.

 

 

 

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  • Harold A. Maio
    May 09, 2014 - 12:52

    remove the stigma associated with mental health illness You mean the stigma you associated with mental illness? If you want to remove it, remove it. I do not associate it, why do you? Oops. sorry, I just noticed this is Canada, it is a common campaign there. Harold A. Maio, retired mental health editor