Miles for Mental Health returns to Neepawa


By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

Preparations are underway for a local event that’s raising awareness on mental health issues one step at a time. The second annual Miles for Mental Health Fun Run has been scheduled for Aug. 19 at the Flats in Neepawa. The event was put together as a way of helping people use physical activity to help with mental health challenges.

Last year’s inaugural run saw 80 people take part in either a 1k, 5k or 10k run. In total, it was able to raise $1,500, with the majority of that money donated to the Suicide Prevention Implementations Network (SPIN).  Miles for Mental Health organizing committee member Diane Martin said that they were very happy with that level of support for the first year and are hopeful that they’ll be able to build off that early success in 2018.

For this year, the charity of choice that will receive support is Project 11. Project 11 was created in honour of Rick Rypien, a former member of the Manitoba Moose, who took his own life in 2011. Rypien had dealt with a history of clinical depression. After his death, Project 11 was created to honour his memory by providing grade 5-8 students with virtual tutorials educating them about mental health. Martin said that they are very proud to be supporting Project 11 and the work that it does.

As part of the partnership with Project 11, Miles for Mental Health will have a featured guest speaker, Winnipeg Jets assistant general manager and director of hockey operations Craig Heisinger.

As for what’s new for this year’s Fun Run, Martin noted one notable addiction will be a separate children’s event, that’ll take place entirely within the confines of the Flats. The 1k loop will feature a variety of fun activities for youngsters, while their parents take part in the larger runs. A new website has also been created, which will allow people an easier way to register and arrange their donations. The new site can be found at