River's Edge Counselling Centre was proud to host Olympian Clara Hughes in our community on October 14th, 2016. She shared her inspiring story with over 800 kids at Leo Nickerson Elementary and 300 students at Paul Kane High School.
She then spoke at the Arden Theatre, sharing her personal journey through mental and physical pain, to a life where love and understanding can thrive. She was so moved by the work of the local organizations the event was supporting - SAIF, BAM, and OutLoud, that she donated 1000.00 from her book sales to those groups.
Clara stayed until well after midnight, signing books and connecting with people who stayed to experience her authentic and compassionate presence.
We hope the continued legacy of Clara's visit will be ongoing support for mental health organizations in our community and a deeper understanding for the challenges that people suffering with mental illness face every day. Her passionate challenge to us is to continue to fight stigma related to mental health and to advocate for increased access to mental health services in Alberta
local mental health initiatives that received support from this event:
SAIF (Stop Abuse in Families)
To provide free counselling services to those experiencing domestic violence.
BAM (Building Assets & Memories)
To support the Caelin Porter Mental Health Awareness Walk. Caelin was a St. Albert youth who brought light and love to his family, friends and many other people in our community through his warm, caring presence and music.St. Albert youth have organized this yearly walk following his suicide to bring support to other youth who struggle with mental illness. They donate all proceeds from the walk to the CMHA and SickNotWeak.
To support the 4UBYUS Conference (a one-day event run by youth, for adults who work with youth in our community, with a focus on mental health and wellness).
To support programs and activities for LGBTQ youth in St. Albert (ages 13-24), in a safe, supportive and fun environment.