Singer/musician Ryan Langlois is walking for 30 days to raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer singer/songwriter performs second-annual walk-a-thon for mental health

Ryan Langlois is supporting a 24-hour crisis counsellor

Red Deer singer/songwriter Ryan Langlois is in the midst of his second-annual 30-day Let’s Walk fundraiser for mental health.

He’s trekking through the park system for an hour a day until Oct. 2, with 20 lbs of rocks in his backpack to symbolize the burden carried by people with depression and other mental health problems.

Each day, he is accompanied by a fellow walker, “sharing stories and encouragement along the way…

“Last year was such an incredible and inspiring experience that I knew #letswalk needed to become an annual event,” said Langlois, who’s again partnering with the Canadian Mental Health Association, central Alberta region.

This year’s goal is raising about $2,800 to help pay for a “much used and much needed” crisis counsellor.

Langlois, who has struggled with his own depression and anxiety, encourages supporters to follow along on his Instagram and Facebook pages. “Asking for help was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, so when people finally get to the place where they pick up the phone, we want someone there to answer,” he said of having a councillor available.

Donations can be made through (or by inputting Canadian Mental Health Association Alberta Central Region in the website’s search engine).

Christine Stewart, executive director of the CMHA, central Alberta region, said Langlois is helping put a face to mental illness: “He’s telling people they are not alone and not to be afraid to seek help…

“We love what he’s doing.”

The 40-year-old singer, songwriter was the second-place finisher in Alberta Music’s Project WILD. The solo artist and former member of the Boom Chucka Boys, is doing his annual walk-a-thon to try to raise public awareness of how mental illness can affect anyone.

According to stats, it impacts one in five Canadians.

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