‘Darkest before dawn’ event to raise mental health awareness

CENTRE WELLINGTON — On Aug. 12, Scott McLelland will be running an event for mental health awareness and support at the Grace Church property located at 35 Farley Rd. in Fergus.

The event is called “The Darkest Before Dawn – Night walk for mental health support and awareness.”

The idea is to draw awareness for programs and resources in the community for mental health and addiction.

There will be a walk held from 8:30pm to 6:30am to symbolize what an individual’s mental health can feel like at times.

“It feels like walking in the dark, your tired and you feel like your walking in circles. But at the end of the night, the sun rises and hope comes to the individual,” said McLelland.

The walk will also be serving as a fundraiser for Portage Ontario, which is a drug addiction rehabilitation centre for youth out of Elora.

“I believe that supporting our youth with the tools and resources to overcome addiction and mental health issues will only better Canada in the future,” said the event organizer.

“We need to ensure our youth have as many tools as possible to allow them for success.”

He added he wants to bring as much awareness for the programs and resources as possible so others are aware of the options available if they need them.

McLelland said that he has been personally going through things lately but is fortunately mentally strong and has strong support from others.

However, he recognized that life is still difficult at times, which sparked the idea for the event.

The mental health advocate said, “there needs to be a serious conversation about the resources that we need for our community and breaking the silence for people.”

“[This event] is for anyone, and everyone,” explained McLelland.

“It’s a safe place and it’s there to encourage people to feel comfortable and to get the help that they need.”

If you have questions about the upcoming event, you can contact McLelland at (519) 994-7569 or scottmclelland1@hotmail.com.