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Open Minds Walk and Run set for Saturday

By Ryan Stelter, Camrose Canadian

Open Minds Walk and Run last year. File photo.

Open Minds Walk and Run last year. File photo.

 

The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta is putting on the Open Minds Walk and Run this Saturday at the Bill Fowler Centre in Camrose.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. and is free to the public, and there will be a two and a half kilometre fun walk, a five kilometre run and a 10 kilometre run around Mirror Lake. There will be medals given out to the top performers both men and women for each distance. Donations can be made by dropping in their offices in Camrose, online, or at the event.

The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta is the only provincial organization that caters to people and their families dealing with schizophrenia.

Anthony Holler, the adult peer support coordinator as well as the run coordinator for the 2017 Open Minds Walk says all the funds will stay in Camrose and go towards the adult peer support programs. Holler is hoping to raise $7,000 for operations in Camrose.

"We have regular activities throughout the months, various activities out in the community that help with the isolation of the illness," he said. "Sometimes one of the barriers to treatment is isolation."

The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta also has housing facilities in Red Deer and Edmonton for people with schizophrenia. They also have a community education program which goes out and educates the public about the illness.

"They've been making presentations to first responders, the Edmonton Police Service and things like that, to educate and to also educate front line workers," he said.

Holler says 1 in 100 people are affected by schizophrenia and part of the community education program helps reduces the stigma associated with schizophrenia.

"There is tremendous stigma," Holler said.

"That's the whole goal of the community education program is to go out in the community and there are presenters who have the illness as well. It reduces the stigma with the fact that people see someone with the illness with a fulfilling life."

rstelter@postmedia.com

 



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