Calgary woman running for mental health awareness, after partner's death
CALGARY -- Andrea Gordon has gone for a run every day since Sept. 1, clocking a total of 230 kilometres, in honour of her partner.
David Quistberg died by suicide on June 7 — 10 days before his 46th birthday.
“It's shocking to wake up one day and have your life be everything that you know, everything that you're used to and in the flash of a moment everything’s different, everything's ripped out from under you,” said Gordon, who said they had been inseparable during their 13-month-long relationship.
Gordon said Quistberg, a father of two, had struggled with depression since 2017.
“He was very open, very vulnerable about it with me and we had such good open lines of communication we always talked about it. So I didn't worry,” said Gordon.
Gordon said she has turned to exercise in the past to help improve her own mental health. She decided to run every day during the month of September and donate money for every kilometre. She’s been documenting her journey on Instagram using the hashtag #andreasrunformentalhealth
Gordon said she also started an online fundraiser to help those in the community who are struggling. So far $10,000 has been raised. Money will go towards the Canadian Mental Health Association and Centre for Suicide Prevention.
“I want to provide people with the opportunity to go seek help when they need it,” said Gordon.
According to the Calgary Counselling Centre, depression is the second leading cause of suicide.
“It's very very treatable but over half of the people that are struggling will never reach out for assistance,” said Cathy Keogh, Director of Counselling, Calgary Counselling Centre.
Keogh said depression is a complex mental disorder impacting one in five women and one in 10 men. The largest growing community is young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
Signs of depression vary but can include; disturbed sleep, changes in appetite, sadness, irritability and isolation.
This week, Calgary Counselling Centre is running the 14th annual National Depression Screening Day, offering a free, anonymous, online depression screening test. The test screens for signs of depression symptoms and then lets you know if further evaluation is recommended. It will be available in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Punjabi, and Chinese.
A link can be found here.