More than 50 people took part in the Wellness Walk staged by the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre Nov. 22.

The idea was to raise awareness of mental health and addictions.

Ella Ireland, left, Jimena Maule, and Qui Giang with signs reading “It’s okay not to be okay” and “Let’s put a freeze on stigma”. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

“It’s an annual event that’s been happening ever since I’ve been working at the Tree of Peace,” said Christina Moore, Indigenous youth worker. “We team up with a group at Sir John (Franklin’s) called the MAGMA (Magnanimous Advocates Generating Mental Health Awareness) group, then St. Pat’s has the SADD (Students Against Drinking and Driving) group.

Christina Moore, Indigenous youth worker, says ‘it’s really important to make time and come together to address addictions’. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

“We also collaborate with the Foster Family Coalition and the Home Base Youth Centre, so those are different youth serving organizations and schools that we partner with for this event. It’s really important to make time and come together to address addictions.”

Tobie White, left, and Alex Barnes were a part of the walk with signs saying ‘When I is replaced by We, Illness becomes Wellness’ and ‘You are not alone’. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

The same goes for Katherine Arden, the community wellness manager at the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre.

“The walk itself is just to help the community, keep the community aware that there is addiction in our community,” said Arden. “It’s not just people we see on the streets, addiction is everywhere. All walks of life are effected by it. It doesn’t matter who you are, it’s not one specific kind of person.”

Katherine Arden, community wellness manager at the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre, valued the Wellness Walk and its impact in the community. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

Covid hasn’t kept the Tree of Peace Centre down as recovery programs are still ongoing at the location.

On top of Sir John Franklin’s, the walk also saw members of the student body from St. Pat’s. Ethan Butterfield/ NNSL photo

“Our doors are open all the time at the Tree of Peace, we have our community wellness program for one on one counselling,” said Arden. “We (also) have our daily program called ‘Journey to Recovery’, which is sort of psycho-educational. So we talk about topics on recovery, relapse, anger, self-esteem, things like that to help people.”

Annabella Churchill and Lacey Furniss with the sign ‘Mental Health is a Community Responsibility’. Ethan Butterfield/NNSL photo

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