The fifth annual Run Myles Ahead five-kilometre walk and run will be held in the Beach on Sunday, Oct. 1.
The run begins at the Leuty Boathouse, foot of Leuty Avenue just north of the Boardwalk, at 10 a.m. The run sees the community come together – virtually or ‘in real life’ – in support of Myles Ahead’s efforts to advance child and youth mental health and prevent suicide.
Leslie Kulperger founded Myles Ahead as a national charity in 2019 in memory of her son, Myles, who died by suicide in 2018. Out of this tragedy, Kulperger was compelled to create meaningful system-level change. Roughly 70 per cent of mental health challenges begin during childhood or adolescence, yet services for this age group are limited.
Since COVID-19, the number of young people experiencing mental health challenges has grown, with suicide remaining the leading cause of health-related death for Canadian youth.
“We need more investment in appropriate, accessible, and continuous care. We are working with the government and partners to address treatment and service gaps. And we are equally focused on prevention, building greater awareness in the community and in the classroom so that students, parents, and teachers can talk about, and respond to, mental health issues in a caring environment where kids feel safe,” said Kulperger.
Backed by the community, Run Myles Ahead raises funds and awareness and creates connections.
“Initiated by family, friends and neighbours in Leslieville as a way to honour my son and support our mission, Run Myles Ahead follows the same route Myles would take with his beloved dog, Frida, from Ashbridges Bay along the Beach Boardwalk,” said Kulperger.
Run Myles Ahead embodies the World Suicide Prevention Day theme of Creating Hope Through Action.
The run has three local corporate partners: major sponsor and Myles Ahead Mental Health Business Leader – Gyro Auto Group of Companies (Gyro Hyundai and Gyro Mazda), and Myles Ahead Mental Health Advocate sponsors: Michelle Walker and Team (Re/Max), and Flourish Health Services.
To register for the run, please go to https://mylesahead.ca/activities-events