Category: Local News
Published: Sunday, 25 June 2017 14:33
Written by Mike Aiken
Cierra Garrow's happy to give back. The Kenora native helped lead the Ride Don't Hide event at Garrow Park today in Kenora.
Looking fit and trim in a cyclist's jacket, she looks every inch the poster child for the fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Without asking, you might never guess the courage behind the bright smile and free-flowing red hair. From her own admission, Garrow survived three suicide attempts, before completing high school.
"I have lived experience with mental illness," she says bravely, not beating an eyelash.
From a young age, growing up in a small town, Garrow has battled with anxiety and depression. Over the years, she says it's been a struggle to find resources to help.
"Going through my childhood and university, it was a very big struggle in Kenora to have access to mental health resources," she added. "At a very young age, I decided I wanted to be the change in my community. I wanted to give back. I wanted to change how everything was functioning here, and be able to make sure no child ever felt the need to end their life, to be able to get help.
Garrow has said her recovery has included more attention to diet and exercise, noting mental health will be an issue for her for the rest of her life. She has also noted big changes in resources for youth over the last five years, although more are needed.
After earning her undergraduate degree, Garrow is hoping to return to university for a master's degree in counselling.
Last year's event raised close to $16,000. Funds raised went towards programs in the community for mental health.
Across the country, this year's event has raised just under $1.5 million.
For more information:
Make a donation
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