On May 25, the 10th anniversary of the Guelph Chapter of the Schizophrenia Society’s Walk of Hope, was held at the Evergreen community centre, followed by a 45 minute walk through a sunny and busy community and Riverside Park.
The walk raised $10,000, with an attendance of 150.
The first walk in 1998 took place outdoors at Stone Road Mall in Guelph as it kicked off an SSO province wide walk which spread to 13 communities in Ontario, and which continues to grow.
That 1998 walk used a theme with the Wizard of Hope, the Lion for courage, the Tin-Man for heart and the Scarecrow for knowledge, plus Dorothy for will and many munchkins.
The organizers used the theme for a message of hope for people with mental illness, their aim to reduce stigma and increase awareness, along with raising funds for research and programs.
Guest speaker prior to this year’s walk was John Lord, author, educator and innovator. For decades his mission has been to use research and education to create positive change in human services and communities, so that vulnerable citizens can achieve full participation and equality.
He spoke of the Hope for people with many disabilities including mental illness.
Dr. Wilson Lit, Chief of Staff and Clinical Officer at the Homewood Health Centre also encouraged attendees with News of the positive advancements he sees happening in mental health.
The monthly meetings of the Guelph SSO take place on the third Tuesday of each month at the Evergreen Centre on Woolwich Street, commencing Sept. 16.