Walk of Hope will take place on May 24

The spring 2009 Walk of Hope will take place on May 24 at the Evergreen Senior Centre here on Wool­wich Street.

The guest speaker will be Paul Boswer, 1st Step Program, Trellis.

Registration is 2:30pm for the 3pm program, with refresh­ments and a short walk

The Guelph Chapter of the Schizophrenia Society of On­ta­rio will be one of the 11 com­munities across the province with volunteers who will be taking to the streets to raise money for research, public awareness, and support for programs and services through­out Ontario.

The Guelph chapter has held a successful theme walk to help reduce stigma and raise awareness of schizophrenia and the changes with hope now available. Guelph has done its part to raise funds for research and programs to forward this hope.

The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario has been able to reach out to over 500,000 Onta­rians through print ads, tele­vision, and poster campaigns.

Over 12,000 families bene­fited from information, sup­port, and advice given by the SSO, which also provided over $100,000 in research grants.

Known as youth’s greatest disabler, schizophrenia gener­al­ly strikes young people at the prime of their lives, in their late teens or early 20s.

When schizophrenia is left untreated, it can cause delu­sions, hallucinations, and emo­tional withdrawal: at its most extreme, this mental illness can, tragically, sometimes re­sult in suicide.

Schizophrenia affects one in every 100 Canadians, and has a profound impact on their lives and the lives of all those who care for them – family, friends, relatives, and others.

This year, the Schizo­phre­nia Society of Ontario cele­brates 30 years of offering a reason to hope and the means to cope to families and indivi­duals affected by schizo­phre­nia. SSO provides support, education, and advocacy on behalf of people and families affected by schizophrenia across Ontario. The Guelph chapter holds monthly meetings at the Evergreen Centre, Woolwich Street, every third Tuesday, from September to May. Registration forms for the walk are available at CMHA downtown, Trellis, Delhi Street  or phone 519-766-0623.