Montreal Walks for Mental Health

On October 14, 2012, L’Abri en Ville residents, volunteers, staff and family supporters joined thousands in the streets to raise awareness and funds for mental health initiatives. At the start of the walk, Honorary Chair Margaret Trudeau spoke of the importance of community-based organizations. She challenged stigma and myths surrounding mental illness, reaching out to younger people in the crowd by quoting pop icon Lady Gaga “I was born this way.” After some lively music and a group cheer, groups walked along de Maisonneuve and Ste-Catherine, sporting burgundy toques that had been given out to all participants. Colourful signs made by walkers sported slogans such as “Mental illness is serious business,” “I have mental illness, but mental illness doesn’t have me” and “I didn’t choose to be mentally ill.” MWMH founding member and current L’Abri Board member Suzanne Herscovitch was very pleased with the outcomes. She noted that the impacts of the march were magnified thanks to the support of local media and sponsors. The L’Abri team set a goal of $5,000 this year and are thrilled that 75% of this has already been met, through in-person pledges and online.