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Ride raises cash for youth mental health project

A new courtyard is being built at Timmins and District Hospital
2019-05-22 Spin For Mental Health TADH MH
Timmins and District Hospital (TADH) Foundation manager of donor relations Barb McCormick, left, TADH mental health educator Brigitte Potvin, TADH mental health program manager Vicky Bernard and Discover Fitness's Lynn Gauthier. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

A fundraiser is getting people talking about youth mental health. 

Spin for Mental Health was held at Discover Fitness in Timmins earlier this month. More than 100 riders took a seat to raise $7,592 for the Timmins and District Hospital Foundation to put toward a garden and play courtyard for the Child and Youth Mental Health Unit. 

“We got people talking about children’s mental health in our community and I think it’s something we don’t speak about," said organizer Lynn Gauthier.

"And here’s an opportunity to give them some skills that they can take with them as they move on through life, whether it’s learning how to garden or even just play."

She noted there was a variety of people who stepped up to support the ride, from experienced spin riders to people who felt it was a good cause.

At Timmins and District Hospital (TADH), there is an adult outdoor area.

Mental health educator Brigitte Potvin said the kids are brought into the adult area when the adults aren't using it, but they don't them to comingle. 

She explained the therapeutic space being created will have gardening and play areas. 

It's just in the planning stages, but mental health program manager Vicky Bernard said they want to have it as soon as they can.

She noted fresh air, exercise and socializing with peers are important for mental wellness.

“Sometimes when patients are admitted to hospital into the mental health unit, they’re under an involuntary status. So they’re not free to come and go at will, so that’s really limiting for people and we want to be able to have them at least exposed to the outdoors so they can get some fresh air and some activity,” she said.


Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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