Depression Help

canal pursuit for mental health| depression help | terezia farkas | beliefnet

The Canal Pursuit for Mental Health is the endeavour of Canadian Clay Williams who lost several family members to suicide.

The Canal Pursuit for mental health is a 750 km run by Clay Williams along the Trent Severn Canal from Port Severn to Trenton, across to Kingston, then up the Rideau Canal to Ottawa ending on Parliament Hill at the Centennial Flame. Clay is running the canal and trails to help raise awareness and funds for mental health issues in cooperation with the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.

What is the Canal Pursuit for Mental Health about? Here’s the story in Clay’s own words.

When I was a student in 1980, my oldest brother passed away. Although at the time I was told it was accidental, I immediately knew in my heart that he had taken his own life, and it was later confirmed. He left behind two young children and his wife, and far more questions than answers. I remember for years having dreams where I would meet him walking down the street and ask him why he had done what he did, and I never got an answer. It would be years before I made a connection between his suicide and mood disorder. It was just something that wasn’t talked about. There was a stigma that seemed to label him as weak or selfish for what he did.

In 2001 my wife was diagnosed with depression. She doesn’t like the word ‘depression’ because her difficulty is not with sadness, but with other moods. We experienced some frustration in finding the proper balance of medications and indeed sometimes finding that balance caused a lot more challenges to the recovery process.

In 2006, after losing my wife to illness, my next oldest brother took his own life. Although his children were grown at the time, there was no less of a sense of loss. And this time there was a feeling of guilt that I carried. I remembered him saying during our last conversation that all of his friends were dying. How could I not have known that was a cry for help? Here was the big brother who was always there for me and I didn’t help him when he most needed it.

If the stigma around mood disorders didn’t exist, would my brothers still be here today, talking and making wisecracks about how it sucks to be getting old? What if we could do something to help people know its okay to talk to someone you trust when you’re in a dark or difficult place?

To support Clay and the Canal Pursuit

You can make a donation to Clay’s Canal Pursuit at

You can also find The Canal Pursuit on social media



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