CALGARY -- Members of a number of Calgary organizations turned their Thursday workouts into fundraising events on World Mental Health Day,  as part of a goal to find ways to improve long term access to mental wellness supports.

That meant Thursday workouts at a boxing-style fitness gym called Rumble in the Beltline neighbourhood designed to promote both physical and mental fitness.

“I think everyone has struggled with challenges with mental health at times in their life,” said Kealan Bailey, a founding trainer at Rumble, who says boxing helped her tackle her struggles with an eating disorder.

“I found that boxing was something that helped me. It helped me to feel to give myself permission to take up space in the world.”

Donations from classes on Thursday supported “Dare to Care,” a non-profit that presents anti-bullying workshops for youth aged 5 to 25.

Rumble raised $3,000.

For those more into fashion than fitness, a gala is fundraising for the Build Them Up campaign to help raise funds for a new Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health.

It’s an initiative undertaken with the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Mental Health day

The centre will include a walk-in clinic, intensive treatment programs and a day hospital.

“This is going to remove the barriers and have safe, effective, remarkable environment for care,” said Allison Grafton, a fundraising coordinator for the centre. “It’s going give the care to children and youth today so they don’t take it into their adulthood.”

Mental health professionals at the University of Calgary agreed that youth and young adults are faced with a lot of pressures.

“14-20 per cent of kids and adolescents at any given time are experiencing a mental health issue, which is still a high number,” said clinical psychologist Nicole Racine.

Racine also recommended adequate sleep and exercise in addition to increased access to resources, which she believes reduces mental health struggles.