The Run For It 5km charity run in support of To Write Love On Her Arms will be held at Blackburn Park in Salmon Arm on April 14 at 1 p.m.. (Image: Facebook / Kelsey Adam)

Run For It 5 km charity run to raise funds for mental health supports

Fundraiser kicks off at Blackburn Park in Salmon Arm April 14

Salmon Arm resident Kelsey Adam will be hosting the Run For It 5 km charity run at Blackburn Park Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m.

Runners, walkers, spectators and supporters are welcome to come out to the park in support of a good cause. Registration will be open at the skate park, $15 for adults and $5 for children, with all proceeds going to charity. Those who cannot attend the event but wish to offer their support are encouraged to visit the online fundraising page at https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/1356166.

The run is in support of the organization To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), a group committed to raising awareness for mental health issues and providing treatment and support for those who need it, particularly youth and young adults. The group has organized these charity runs around the world since 2013.

Adam first heard of TWLOHA in 2010 through their outreach at the Vans Warped Tour music festival. She says she chose to support the group because “they are dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people that struggle with addiction, depression, self injury and suicide. What they want to do is to inform and inspire people that there is hope.”

As someone who has struggled with these kinds of issues before, Adam feels it is important that mental health advocates receive this kind of support so they can continue their work.

“I wish I had this support. I wish there were people speaking out about these things back when I was in high school,” she says. “In a way I almost felt like the elephant in the room when I tried to raise my voice about this in the past.”

She hopes this event will raise awareness that support is available to those who need it.

“It’s something I have wanted to do, I love to run and I wanted to be a voice to show others there is hope and that there is help. Unfortunately I was never in the right mindset because I myself was suffering with addiction and depression,” she says. “I came to Salmon Arm in October to enter treatment. Since then I have found a lot of hope and this is just something I’m so passionate about.”

In fact, she says the support available in Salmon Arm has been a profound help in getting her to where she is today.

“Salmon Arm has a really amazing recovery community. Without Salmon Arm, I wouldn’t be doing this,” she says.

Adam also feels this was a way to prove to herself that she has the capacity to return the favour and help others.

“It’s kind of so I could challenge myself as well, this is something I’ve never done,” she says. “I’m just really excited about all of this, it’s funny because with depression and addiction you often feel so small and like you can’t make a difference. I feel now it is more celebrated, that stigma is dropped little by little. I’m just grateful that I can be someone that people can reach out to, I’m more than willing to help anyone who wants to talk.”

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