Campbellton (NB) – The 3rd edition of the Doctors’ Walk, under the theme Mental Health: time to talk, time to change! raised over $47,000. The initial objective of $30,000 was reached and even exceeded by several thousand dollars, as a result of generous donations received after the event. It is a year to remember for the Walk; the largest turnout to date, with over 360 participants. In fact, many residents of the Restigouche Hospital Centre (RHC) and Campbellton Regional Hospital (CRH) were able to attend, thanks to the health professionals who accompanied them.
This amount will be used to purchase various pieces of equipment to improve the quality of life of patients who are hospitalized at the RHC and at the Psychiatry Unit of the CRH, by introducing new therapy programs, by supporting those already in place and by further promoting healthy recreation that encourages clients to move and socialize with others.
All 360 participants received a colourful green t-shirt (representing mental health) before starting the 5 km walk to support the cause. A cause that, as Dr. Khatib points out, “affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. It can take many forms, including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Most individuals find ways to live with their illnesses but how they are treated by others often proves to be more of a challenge than the illness itself. Stigma is a key barrier that stops people from seeking help. This is why this year’s slogan is “Mental Health: time to talk, time to change!”
As for Dr. Holly, he reiterated the importance and positive impact of these pieces of equipment for the recovery of clients and took the opportunity to thank the health professionals who accompanied clients, enabling them to take part in the Walk, which after all was held in their honour.
Here are some comments made by a RHC resident: “Mental illness is a problem that will not go away by being an ignored and hidden topic. Times are changing and the way this hospital now treats people with mental illness is commendable compared with the methods of years ago. Hope restored makes a heart glad. People (doctors) and nurses have new ways, more compassion and more therapeutic approaches for mental illness that give mentally ill people a second chance in society. People that have mental illness should not be locked away; they should be treated and where possible reintegrated into society.”
Jean-Luc Landry, Executive Director of the Foundation stated: “It’s better late than never! It may have taken three weeks to reach the objective, but it was reached quite nicely, and this even makes it a record year to date for the Doctors’ Walk. I am very pleased with the result and the great turnout. Plus, we continued our partnership with the Restigouche physicians! We are very grateful for their participation. Once again, thank you to our local doctors”. Finally, he also thanked the major sponsors who made this event possible, namely AV Cell Inc. and A.L.P.A. Equipment Ltd, as well as Soup’N Sweets from the Campbellton Regional Hospital, who provided the snack.