Raleigh Singapore, a Singaporean community which helps people through adventure-based learning activities, has organised "Let's Take a Walk," an initiative to create awareness among caregivers of mental patients. The event, being held on Saturday, September 23, has three categories: 10 Km Jalan Walk, 50 Km Power Walk, and 100 Km Xtreme Walk.
About 1450 people have registered for the event, including those who have friends and relatives suffering from a mental disorder. It is very important for their caregivers to be aware of their wants and needs, as is stressed in this initiative.
The longest and most demanding Xtreme Walk has seen the highest number of participants, in this biennial awareness event which kicked off from the National Museum of Singapore on Saturday morning. The walk will end after 33 hours. Volunteers from Raleigh Singapore are working hard to ensure their event is successful.
This year has recorded the highest number of participants in the last 10 years, from six-year-old kids to 75-year-old men.
"I did the 20km and 40km training walks, and some training here and there when I can find time, but this would be my maiden walk (for a distance) this long," Yang Tiong Hock, an organising member and part-time caregiver, told The Straits Times.
"It's heartwarming that Raleigh is looking at this cause. Awareness of mental health conditions is on the rise, but acceptance and learning to respond to people with these conditions - there's still much to be done. In fact, social inclusion and understanding is one of the key strategies that will help such conditions," said Denise Phua, Central Singapore District Mayor and guest-of-honour at the event.
The proceeds from the entire event shall be donated to the Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL) and Raleigh Singapore.
Mental health and its awareness has become a widely discussed topic in the world nowadays, shedding the age-old stigma attached to it. Another such event, Walk for Mental Health Awareness, is going to take place on October 7 in Houston, Texas, of the United States.