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On Sunday, May 29, Amanda Dass spoke to over 1,550 participants at Run for Women Markham, sharing her mental health care experience with Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH).

Run for Women Markham supports MSH’s Women’s Wellness Program, which began in 2019 and offers several types of group therapy, including art therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, interpersonal psychotherapy, postpartum depression, cognitive behaviour therapy and antenatal depression cognitive behaviour therapy.

The women’s wellness program is vital to the over 1,200 women who rely on it every year. The program is generously supported by the community and through the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program.

Amanda addressed the crowd, saying, “FEAR. SHAME. GUILT."

“Those were the things that I felt after hearing I have Major Depressive Disorder last year.

It was the first time I felt truly scared in my life. And I am 41 years old. So you can imagine how that must have felt.

Today, I stand up here, feeling so much more courageous, confident in myself and learning to appreciate the symptoms of my depression. I found support through seeking help from a psychiatrist at MSH, daily gratitude and affirmations. I even took up yoga and meditation and am presently halfway through my training to become a yoga teacher. So much has changed in my life from last September to right now, standing in front of you all.

Today, I no longer hang my head in shame, afraid to speak out about mental illness, and more importantly, feel that sense of guilt that something is broken within me. I couldn’t have done this without the assistance of MSH and its amazing staff.

I am proud of the woman I see in the mirror today and, through sharing my journey, I feel compelled to educate others going through similar situations, to encourage them to seek help and to empower them to lead their best life.

We can’t do this alone. This is a journey that we need to do together. We need to support and continue to provide resources for women to get the help they desperately need to feel better.

Thank you to Love You by Shoppers Drug Mart for keeping this initiative going for the past 10 years. Without your support, none of this would be possible.”

To help women like Amanda, make a donation to Run for Women Markham. Your donation will be matched $1 for $1 thanks to the Gulshan & Pyarali G. Nanji Family Foundation (up to $50,000). Donations can be made until June 30, 2022.

Make a donation today