A wk ago, I was contacted by the mother (Shelley) & partner (Gillian) of a courageous young man, Zach, a 14yr old from Canada.
I don’t believe there is enough collaboration in the space of MH. When Gillian & Shelley contacted me abt the wonderful work Zach is doing in Canada through the @zachmakestracks program (that has garnered national media attn), I said to count me/us in.
Not going to put the full story here…will post it to our website instead & direct ppl there in the coming days. But the long & short of it is, Zach’s mom grew up w many MH challenges of her own – for which she went through the ringer to look for help. Zach, in knowing this background, wanted to help youth in Canada NOT have to go thru the same obstacles his mom had to face. In his own home town, MH services were lacking. So, Zach started running, walking, biking across Canada, to the capital – Ottawa to speak to the govt. In doing so he raised over $120k just by asking ppl to donate $1 (or more if they could afford). From that $120k he’s been able to get a MH wing built for youth in his area. His goal now is to generate 2.2 million pledges of $1 or more, on behalf of 2.2 million youth in his age range in Canada. At the end of it all, we’ll help them by bringing celebs, &/or video messages & #SameHere Sit-Downs to 13 schools in Canada that help pledge the most. Please click on the link in our profile & consider supporting this initiative.
From Shelley, Zach’s mom: “So, Zach Makes Tracks 2.0 was born. Zach is now seeking 2.2 million pledges for the 2.2 million youth in Canada. He created a fun #BurstYourBubbleForYMT Challenge online that is spreading like wildfire. He’s only asking people to donate $1 (more if they can!). 13 schools/organziations – one from each province & territory across Canada will be selected to host a mental health event at their school, with a celebrity/personality in attendance (or a video message). The youth at these schools have also had the honor of selecting a front line youth MH service/initiative to receive a portion of the funds raised. Zach was quoted during an interview saying ‘if help had been there for my mom when she was young, maybe things would have been easier for her’.
He has done this all because he understands that MH isn’t viewed like other complications – but that it should be, & if we can reach out to kids – even if just one gets help he says – all of this is worth it. What started out as a dream has turned into reality & helped so many ppl. And my little man remains humble and still feels like he can make a difference.