On Tuesday, the 10th of October, Brandon University played host to an event dedicated to Mental Health Awareness and ending the stigma and bullying that is attached to it. The Light Up The World Purple Brandon Community Glow Walk was put together by Krystal Kayne and many other enthusiastic and caring volunteers and started at 6:00PM in the BU Kavanagh Courtyard.
The following walk took place at 7:00PM and ended in the McKenzie Building with coffee and cake. Elizabeth Davidson, former Brandon University Student, spoke on behalf of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society, founded by Carla Todd. Todd wrote to the participants of this global event that “(s)tanding together as one, we can make a difference for everyone,” and “(s)peaking out about mental health is needed to reduce stigma and ensure that no one feels alone in their fight for mental wellness.”
Members of the Brandon University Students’ Union were also there to show their support, with International Director Osaretin Saint Crane kindly filling in the position of Bailey the Bobcat last minute.
The event featured children from various schools around Brandon such as Earl Oxford School and Vincent Massey High School. Participant Madi Frendo of Vincent Massey said she participated in the community glow walk due to facing mental health issues of her own and that “coming to this event would help raise awareness among younger generations.”
She came to the event with many of her friends, all dressed in purple, to help make the banners and posters that were carried around during the walk. The majority of participants were not from BU, but rather younger kids who seemed more than willing to volunteer and help end the stigma associated with mental health. Seeing all these children come together for an incredibly compassionate cause would have melted anyone’s heart, and made many realize how mental health affects everyone, regardless of age.