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A 1,000 km journey to raise funds and create a conversation about mental health is coming through Kelowna.
Kyle Patterson is hiking from Vancouver to Calgary as part of his ‘Puck off Mental Illness’ trek and he reaches Kelowna on Thursday.
“I called it that because I found that going to the hockey and lacrosse rink and playing sports with my friends was the best escape from the anxiety and depression,” said Patterson.
The 24-year-old says that he has experienced mental illness for most of his life and that there is no worse feeling.
“I want those who are struggling with mental illness to know that they are not alone and encourage them to speak up and tell loved ones that they are seeking someone to talk to,” he said.
Patterson heard about Foundry Kelowna through a family friend and that’s where he’ll be arriving around noon on Thursday.
He’ll be greeted by Foundry Kelowna, CMHA Kelowna and KGH Foundation staff for a tour of the new facility when he arrives.
“Young people like Kyle will change the world,” said Shelagh Turner, executive director of CMHA Kelowna. “He is using his voice and experience to raise awareness and build understanding about mental health and mental illness. He’s an impressive young man.”
After starting his hike just outside of Vancouver on August 1st, Patterson says that he’ll rest in Kelowna for a few days before heading back on the road.
He expects to arrive home in Calgary in mid-September.
For more information on Puck off Mental Illness, visit Patterson’s website or Instagram account.