A dozen Red Deer businesses built gingerbread houses to support mental health initiatives.
The inaugural Smiles Thru Gingerbread corporate challenge was hosted at ABC Country Restaurant in Red Deer Thursday night. The event was held in support of the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation, which provides financial help to people with mental illness, the focus being primarily young adults.
Rick More, Smiles Thru Lindsey co-founder, said he and his wife Cindy are always honoured to have the community’s support.
“I have so much pride in this community,” he said. “The support we get from people is medicine to us. I don’t know if humbling is even a strong enough word. It gets emotional for us.”
Rick and Cindy created the foundation in honour of their daughter Lindsey, who committed suicide at the age of 22 in 2015.
“I know Lindsey would’ve loved to have been a part of this (event).
“Part of our journey is to understand what thought process made Lindsey do what she did. She came from a loving family, we loved her and she loved us, and it’s so hard as a parent to even imagine how powerful the brain is to make you want to do that,” he said.
More said it’s important for people to talk about mental health around Christmas because many commit suicide during the holiday season.
“So many people are getting together with friends and family – there’s a lot of excitement this time of year. But on the other side, people will have envy when they see others are happy and they’re not. They’ll dwell on their loneliness.
“A lot of times they just want to talk to anybody who will listen. It can be as simple as that. That could even save a life,” he said.
More said raising money for the foundation is just as important as getting people talking about mental health.
“People deal with mental health in different ways,” he said. “If it was one-dimensional it would be a lot easier to care, but it isn’t.”
For more information on the foundation, visit www.facebook.com/SmilesThruLindsey.