Raise funds this summer for mental health: an interview with Coast Mental Health

- ByThe Social Agency

Did you know that 1 in 5 people in Canada lives with a mental illness? Providing crucial mental health services and resources to support those in need is more imperative than ever. Our client, Coast Mental Health understands the need for affordable housing, stable employment opportunities and reliable support services much too well. Each year, thanks to the generosity of donors, they are able to support many British Columbians on their road to recovery.

Keeping your mental health a priority is crucial and we know that physical health plays a big role in it too. That’s why Coast Mental Health is running the Courage 2 Go Further campaign this summer. They’re encouraging British Columbians to pick a physical challenge of their choosing to complete at their own pace, and raise funds to support mental health initiatives. There’s no challenge too big or small.

Recently we chatted with Janet Majendie, Chair of the Courage 2 Go Further campaign to learn more about the importance of the campaign and why people should consider signing up.

Read on below!

TSA: What is the Courage 2 Go Further, and how did this idea come about?

CMH: Coast Mental Health Foundation (CMHF) raises funds for critical programming to support people living with mental illness throughout the Lower Mainland. In 2020, Coast Mental Health supported almost 6,000 folks with the life-changing support they needed including housing, take-away meal programs, drop-in centres, peer support, cognitive remediation and much more.

However, the onset of the pandemic led to a huge, potentially devastating funding gap, coupled with an increased demand for Coast’s services.

On the other hand, my daughter is a competitive cyclist, and I could see that the pandemic had left a gap for many athletes when it came to their races and events. They were looking for a new goal to train for and work towards.

This is when the Courage 2 Go Further was born. The concept is simple: anyone can choose a personal challenge or goal, start training, and ask their network to support their challenge by donating to Coast Mental Health Foundation.

Not only does this benefit Coast, it benefits the participants by giving them an outlet and goal to work towards that is personal to their own fitness level and ability.

TSA: What’s your main goal with the campaign?

CMH: The main goal is to raise funds for people living with mental illness here in BC. But a close second is to provide people with the opportunity to set themselves a goal, get outside and keep fit; all of which can be incredibly beneficial to their own mental health.

TSA: How can people get involved?

CMH: There are a few ways you can get involved:

  • You can sign up and take on your own challenge by visiting www.courage2gofurther.ca – the process is simple!

  • Donate to help one of the 120+ incredible people taking part reach their goal!

  • Help spread the word about the event on social media using #courage2gofurther

TSA: What are the benefits for participants registering for the campaign?

CMH: Working towards a goal can be incredibly beneficial for those taking part both physically and mentally. Training and getting outside, creating a team and having something to look forward to are all elements of this. I have heard personally from many participants how much of a difference it has made to their own lives. Not only this, but they will benefit from knowing they are helping people living with chronic mental illness through their fundraising efforts.

TSA: How small or big does the challenge need to be?

CMH: No challenge is too big, or too small. The idea is for each individual to pick something that pushes them! For some people that could be walking 5km. For others, that could be cycling hundreds of kms in one day. The beauty of this event is that everyone can tailor it to their own ability and location.

TSA: Tell us a bit about the companies and teams currently participating.

CMH: We have a huge range of people taking part and it’s been really fun to watch them come up with their challenges.

We are incredibly grateful to have 8 West Clinic as a sponsor. Founder Angie Buonosassi has been a huge supporter of the event, taking on a personal challenge with her cycling team (Velogrit). She is also spearheading an 8West Clinic employee team, who will be ‘Everesting’ the Grouse Grind.

Coast Mental Health and Coast Mental Health Foundation’s Board of Directors also have a team ‘Millions of Little Steps’, with each participant taking on a personal challenge that will ultimately help them reach millions of steps – and we hope lots of dollars too!

We’ve had a number of other cycling teams take on challenges big and small, including my daughter Fiona and her ‘Crowns & Clowns’ team, Wow Cycling, Lotus Cycling Club and many more.

Finally, we have many individual participants including the inspirational Michael Coss – a brain injury survivor who was in a coma for 6 months and told he would never walk or talk again. He’s challenging himself to attend his physical rehab 6 times a week!

Thank you so much to Janet for sharing this with us! If you’re considering signing up for the Courage 2 Go Further campaign – there’s still time. Head on over to the website for details and follow along with Coast this summer on Instagram. Good luck!