Marathons are a great way to raise awareness. In Canada, a man is keen to spread the word that regular exercise can facilitate better mental health and hopes to run 10 half-marathons around mid-June to mid-July in 10 cities across Canada.
The campaign titled "Run to Wellness" is all for a good cause.
Jacob Morris intends to run solo and cover 21.1 kilometers (approximately 13 miles) in each of the 10 cities namely Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City as well as in his hometown Kitchener-Waterloo. All in all, he will be running 211 kilometers (approximately 131 miles) in a span of 30 days.
Morris, from Toronto in Canada, aged 25, went into depression in 2015. It was then that he realized the beneficial role that regular exercise plays in overcoming depression. Starting with walks and jogs to now completing half-marathons, exercise has greatly helped him out of his depressive mental state. Now he wants to spread that message.
As a freelance video producer, he intends to film his efforts and marathons in a documentary. Through this medium, he hopes to positively educate and inspire other people struggling with depression and other mental health conditions to include a regular exercise regimen into their daily routines. This will help them cope with their struggle.
"I want this to be purely uplifting," said Morris. "I'm someone who has suffered in the past, I may suffer in the future. I'm doing this now for people who may be going through something similar."
Morris has already raised more than $2,100 in funds but looks forward to collect $8,500 in total. The money raised will go towards Toronto's Centre for Mental Health and Addiction as well as cover the costs of his video documentary.
Statistics say that 1 in 5 Canadians every year suffers from a mental health condition, as reported by the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Mental illnesses come on a wide range of disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc, and adversely affect mood, thinking and behavior. These disorders can vary from being mild to extremely severe.
Fitness routines do not only contribute towards maintaining physical well-being but also promote a healthy mental state. The awareness-spreading marathons have been built around this viewpoint.