NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY JULY 13, 2020

 

HOPE IN THE DARKNESS WALK FOR YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH TO KICK OFF IN WINNIPEG THIS WEEK!

WINNIPEG– Hope in the Darkness is excited to announce a 2ndNational Walk for Youth Mental Health beginning in Winnipeg on Wednesday, July 15th2020. Starting at the Canadian Human Rights Museum where the 2018 national walk ended, the walk will be led by Hope in the Darkness Walk founder Kevin Redsky.

Redsky will walk 30 kilometres a day for 90 days to raise awareness and engage communities on youth mental health and well-being. The Hope in the Darkness Walk will arrive in Vancouver on October 12, 2020. The cross-country walk was initiated by Redsky from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, who lost a niece to suicide in 2013.

“I’ve walked half the country from St. John’s to Winnipeg to send a message to young people that as an Indigenous police officer who has walked with other officers from across the country, we understand the struggles with mental health, and the systems that have caused great harm for young people, that maintain poverty, intergenerational trauma, and racism,” says Redsky. Adding, “It is time we start changing these systems by looking at our own roles within them, and confronting the attitudes and behaviours that have no place in helping young people. We each can do better.”

While the 2018 walk along the TransCanada Highway brought together youth, families, communities, police, and mental health service providers from the east and west coasts, the 2020 walk will have a large online component focusing on live streams, virtual updates and zoom sessions connecting communities and organizations from across the country.

Participants can get involved by ordering Hope in the Darkness gear, snapping photographs or video of themselves in their gear and uploading the photos and videos to social media, where they will also be shared on the Hope in the Darkness website. People are also urged to participate in Hope in the Darkness’ weekly social media challenge called #tshirtfridays.

“We’re calling on mental health workers, police, child welfare, communities to show their support by getting their Hope in the Darkness gear and joining the walk online,” says Redsky. Adding, “In these unprecedented times, despite every challenge we are facing, we need to show young people now more than ever, that we stand up for them, we believe in them and we see them.”

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For more info contact Harmony at 807.464.2929, email walkforyouthmentalhealth@gmail.comor visit hopeinthedarkness.ca, Twitter: @YouthMHWalk, Instagram: @walkforyouthmentalhealth and facebook: facebook.com/walkforyouthmentalhealth.

Download the Hope in the Darkness Report here:

HITD report sm

MEDIA ADVISORY
October 3, 2018

Hope in the Darkness Releases Youth Mental Health Walk Report

Peterborough, ON — Hope in the Darkness Walk for Youth Mental Health is pleased to announce the release of the Hope in the Darkness Walk Report. The report chronicles the 4 month cross-country police-led journey from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Haida Gwaii, British Columbia to the Canadian Human Rights Museum in Manitoba. Throughout the walk, officers met with young people, police services, mental health workers, families and communities and shared stories and strategies about community-based approaches to addressing mental health for youth.

“The walk gave an opportunity to officers to start the conversation with young people about addressing mental health and the challenges they face with mental health systems,” says Sergeant Kevin Redsky, Founder. “The officers who participated in the walk across Canada, brought their hearts into this work. They listened to people and learned about some of the most difficult struggles. It is our hope this report will be utilized by police services, by mental health services and by communities across the country.”

The Hope in the Darkness walk for youth mental health built a movement that brought both youth and members of the policing community together for a common cause to promote mental wellness, youth-led culture-based solutions and improved relationships with police. The report findings will guide the work of Strength in Continuous Change, a not for profit organization that will continue the work of Hope in the Darkness through the development of mental health, community safety, cultural lifestyle resources.

Hope in the Darkness Founder Sergeant Kevin Redsky of the Anishinabek Police Service (APS), began the trek on April 1, 2018 at the easternmost point of Canada. A western team including Robert Campbell of APS and Mitchell Boulette of Treaty 3 Police Service covered the west coast route from the westernmost point Masset in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.

Hope in the Darkness partners include: Anishinabek Police Service, Mamawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Shoal Lake #40, Canadian Human Rights Museum, Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Grand Council Treaty #3, Ontario Provincial Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Treaty #3 Police Service, Sagamok First Nation, Air Canada, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Waabigoon First Nation, Nahwegahbow Corbiere, Mississauga First Nation, Thessalon First Nation, Batchewana First Nation, United Church of Canada & Aboriginal Ministries Circle Youth Leadership, Sam Kewaquado, Billy Wahpay, John Syrette, Francis & Elizabeth Kavanaugh, Erwin Redsky, Esther Redsky, Stewart Redsky, Pitblado Law/Howard Morry, Thunder Bay Police Association, TakingITGlobal, Grassy Narrows First Nation, Annelind Wakegijig, Lisa Higgerty.

The report can be found at hopeinthedarkness.ca.

Twitter: @YouthMHWalk Instagram: @walkforyouthmentalhealth, Facebook: facebook.com/walkforyouthmentalhealth
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Contact:
Sgt. Kevin Redsky
Anishinabek Police Service
Tel: (807) 464.2226
Email: walkforyouthmentalhealth@gmail.com

MEDIA ADVISORY
May 15, 2018

Hope in the Darkness Walk for Youth Mental Health west coast start in Haida Gwaii

MASSET, BC— Hope in the Darkness, the national Walk for Youth Mental Health, is set to begin the west coast leg on Tuesday, May 15th in Old Masset, Haida Gwaii, BC at the most western point of the TransCanada Highway. The initiative is a partnership between the Anishinabek Police Service and the BC RCMP Indigenous Policing Services (IPS), and First Nation Policing Program (FNPP).

The west coast walk will be started by a team including Anishinabek Police Service Senior Constable Robert Campbell from the Algonquin from the Algonquins of Greater Golden Lake, who will start the west coast portion of the walk with BC RCMP FNPP members in Haida Gwaii. They will walk the Highway of Tears from Prince Rupert to Terrace. The journey will then continue from the Tsawwassen First Nation toward Winnipeg and will feature a team of Indigenous police officers and walkers throughout.

The walk will begin with a ceremony led by local Elder Lily Bell.

Hope in the Darkness Walk Founder Sergeant Kevin Redsky of the Anishinabek Police Service in Ontario, began the trek on April 1, 2018 at the easternmost point of Canada at Cape Spear, St. John’s, Newfoundland. Hope in the Darkness is a challenge from Sgt. Redsky to all police officers from across the country to join in solidarity for youth mental health.

“We are challenging police to join us in taking a stand on youth mental health,” says Sgt. Redsky. “We work with young people taking mental health calls every day, we need to let them know that we care about their path to wellness and stand behind them as they find purpose, meaning and health in their lives.”

“The unit is pleased to support the Hope in the Darkness, Youth Mental Health Walk for the BC route. Youth mental health is a policing priority for BC and part of the divisional youth strategy.” BC RCMP IPS Officer in-Charge A/Inspector Dee Stewart added. “Our FNPP members and youth officers deliver a variety of presentations, resources, programs and support in communities to help bring awareness and education to youth around mental health and stigma. By equipping youth with knowledge, confidence, and skills we empower them to become resilient and learn to grow safely and healthy.”

The walk is aimed at bringing together youth, families, communities, police, and mental health service providers to walk the TransCanada Highway to Winnipeg, Manitoba from the east and west coasts of Canada. Artists, musicians, athletes and dignitaries will also lend a helping hand to support youth mental health in Canada by joining the walk through various parts of the journey this spring and summer.

British Columbia dates include:
Tuesday, May 15-17 Haida Gwaii,
Friday, May 18-21 Prince Rupert to Terrace,
Thursday, May 24-June 15 Tsawwassen to Lake Louise, AB.

The west coast walk will join the east coast walk when they arrive in Winnipeg on August 3, 2018 at the National Human Rights Museum.

A crowd-funded effort, find out more at www.hopeinthedarkness.ca

Twitter: @YouthMHWalk Instagram: @walkforyouthmentalhealth, Facebook: facebook.com/walkforyouthmentalhealth
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Contact:
Sgt. Kevin Redsky
Anishinabek Police Services
Tel: (807) 464.2226
Email: walkforyouthmentalhealth@gmail.com

BC HITD PR 051518

The Hope in the Darkness Walk for Youth Mental Health has begun! Day one is complete! We started the walk in ceremony with Elder Emma Reelis at Cape Spear with the participation of the Anishinabek Police Service, the RCMP and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary! On to the TransCanada Highway now and many stops in Newfoundland over the next three weeks! Looking for walkers to support the walk! Please come out and walk for someone you know, someone you love and someone you care for! On the way to Clarenville over the next 5 days!

Indigenous Police Officer to challenge Police to join
Hope in the Darkness Walk for Youth Mental Health

GARDEN RIVER, ON— Indigenous Police Sargeant Kevin Redsky and the Anishinabek Police Service will lead a youth mental health walk across Canada starting on April 1, 2018. The walk will bring police and youth together to take a stand on mental health. Redsky is issuing a challenge to police services across the country to join in the walk.

Hope in the Darkness 2018 will start in Cape Spear, St.John’s, Newfoundland the easternmost point of Canada on April 1. The eastern route will travel through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. The western route of the walk will begin at the westernmost point of Canada in Masset, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia on May 15, 2018. The western route will travel through British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The western and the eastern route will join together in Winnipeg for a final closing ceremony and celebration in August.

“Walking for youth dealing with mental health issues, is our way to show youth we aren’t the bad guy, but we care for them and want to be active in supporting the life changes that youth, families and communities need,” says campaign founder Kevin Redsky. Adding, “Through this initiative that will promote healthy lifestyles, self-empowerment and strength in continuous change, youth out there will know that the negative images of police don’t apply to all of us, and that we are dedicated to protecting and caring for our communities.”

The national walk is being hosted by Strength in Continuous Change is a culture-based resource designed for Indigenous youth, parents, families and communities to be active in the lives of youth struggling with mental health issues and/or live in high-risk situations. Offering youth mental health programming and support existing youth mental health networks, Strength in Continuous Change values culture and language as the vehicle to self-empowerment for youth, their families and communities. A national celebration is planned for the culmination of the walk in Winnipeg in August 2018.

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Media requests: Roots & Rights Media: 807.464.2929, rootsandrights@gmail.com

Contact: Kevin Redsky, Founder, National Walk for Youth Mental Health, 807.464.2226, walkforyouthmentalhealth@gmail.com