FeatureSports & Health

Running to raise money for Women’s Mental Health Services

This year’s Run for Women Unionville attracted nearly 1,300 participants and raised just over $243,000 for Markham Stouffville Hospital’s (MSH) women’s mental health services.

From July 4 to 11 participants completed their walk/run along their own routes to raise funds and awareness for women’s mental health.

Over the last year, MSH saw an increase in demand for mental health services. The mental health patient navigator received close to 200 calls a month from people looking for mental health resources.

The Women’s Wellness Clinic provides care to over 1,200 women annually The clinic empowers women to participate in group therapy sessions like mindfulness-based stress reduction, interpersonal therapy, post-partum CBT and antenatal CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and art therapy to aid in their recovery.

Run for Women team and individual participant support are vital to providing these services, $35 from each registration fee goes directly to MSH Foundation. In addition to that, many corporate and community teams fundraised to support women in the community, including the City of Markham who registered four teams for this year’s run and raised over $6,000 and Team RBC Markham who was one of the top fundraisers.

“The City of Markham considers the wellbeing of our staff and community to be an important priority. We were excited by the opportunity to participate in Run for Women, knowing that the funds from the Unionville teams go to support women’s mental health initiatives at Markham Stouffville Hospital, says the City of Markham Team Captains.  “In addition to being a great cause, we also see this as an opportunity to get our staff moving for their own physical and mental wellbeing while adding fun with some friendly competition!”

“We’re so excited to join the Run for Women event this summer,” said Team RBC Markham. “Mental health matters and we need to be transparent about the barriers we experience so that together we can break the stigma. Most importantly, we need to show others that help is not far away.”

This year’s run would not have been a success without all community support and this year’s lead donor the Gulshan & Pyarali G. Nanji Family Foundation who matched donations, up to $50,000.

“Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Run for Women Unionville in support of women’s mental health programs at MSH,” says Suzette Strong, MSH Foundation CEO. “This event wouldn’t have been possible without all your support – whether you ran, walked or pledged a participant. Thank you to our lead donors Gulshan & Pyarali G. Nanji Family Foundation. Your support means everything!”

Over the last five years Run for Women, brought to you by the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart program has raised over $600,000 for MSH’s Women’s Wellness Clinic.


Photo: Run for Women Unionville team completing their walk in support of women’s mental health at MSH.

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