A Million Steps for Mental Health: Cambridge Retirement Residence supports Ride Don’t Hide

Residents of Granite Landing aim to walk a million steps in support of mental health awareness this month.

This month, residents and staff at Granite Landing Retirement Residence in Cambridge are supporting the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ride Don’t Hide initiative.

Instead of cycling, residents were challenged to collectively walk a million steps in June to raise awareness about mental health. It was an ambitious goal set by Executive Director Nancy Lowell.

“That number is from me,” Lowell said with a laugh. “I set the bar high and there were doubts. I knew there were 500 steps around our building and I knew how many people were participating. We also aim to raise $500.

Lowell estimates that most of the roughly 120 residents participate in the walks, even if it’s just a lap around the property.

Active living and being part of the community are part of the Granite Landing experience.

“We were looking for an initiative to get our residents out and active in the community,” Lowell said. “We wanted to give back after the pandemic. Locals love to walk around, especially in warm weather. It gives them something to look forward to.

Residents and staff are well on their way to achieving their goal. By the middle of the month, they had already racked up over 500,000 steps.

Lowell says Granite Landing is leading the charge when it comes to making mental health a priority.

“Our director of active living has been doing mental health talks,” Lowell said. “We welcome people into the community, as well as having community supports that we can connect our residents to. There are a variety of different activities they can participate in to take care of their mental well-being.

Irene Kadonaga and Doreen Toland call Granite Landing home and appreciate the opportunity to make a difference.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Kadonaga said. “Mental health has a lot to do with the way we think and our daily lives. It’s really important.

Kadonaga is thrilled to see so many residents come out and participate in the walks.

“Look how many came,” she said. “I thought only a few of us would do it. There’s a range of abilities, including avid walkers and people who barely walk.

Toland was also happy to be involved and thinks it’s a great initiative after two difficult years.

“Granite Landing does a great job with resident activities,” Toland said. “After the pandemic, it is very important. It’s been bad for people’s mental health, so anything that helps alleviate that is good. »

Toland sees firsthand the importance Granite Landing places on mental health every day.

“There are all sorts of things to stimulate it,” she says. “They take care of every part of the body here. We get together and discuss different things all the time; they push you to talk, and it’s good for people to speak up.

Residents held a lemonade stand at the corner of Saginaw Parkway and Light Drive on June 22-23 to help them reach their $500 fundraising goal.

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Throughout the month of June, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ride Don’t Hide initiative works to raise awareness and funds for mental health. Cambridge Times reporter Matt Betts spoke with Granite Landing Retirement Residence Executive Director Nancy Lowell and two of their residents about how they are getting involved in their own way.

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