Health

We can all appreciate the value of playing simply from an enjoyment perspective. Most kids count the minutes until recess, after school, the weekend, play dates; any opportunity to get out there and practice some free play with little to no structure. We know they enjoy it, possibly (hopefully) even enjoy it ourselves from time to time, but do we fully appreciate how important free play is and how useful it can be as an intervention? Probably not. 

I feel like I am living in a place of duality and I can go from having so much hope and then I instantly question why the world is the way it is, and despair creeps in. We currently live in a world where the pandemic is coming to an end (hopefully) and there is joy and hope for the future. Within this however there is also fear and worry about what this means for us. Summer is bringing the sunshine and the natural benefits of vitamin D and camaraderie. 

This weekend on the eve of the Summer Solstive, people in the Elk Valley will be biking from sunrise to sunset... some the entire time. Some doing shorter, family-friendly sections. Others joining friends, remembering those lost to mental illness by riding one of their favourite trails. It all started last year as a fundraiser for the newly formed Elk Valley Suicide Task Force. This year, in collaboration with the Fernie Mountain Bike Club they are raising awareness and working towards ending the stigma around mental illness. We caught up a member of the Task Force, Ev Eijsermans to learn more and here is what she had to say!

May is the “Community” issue of the Fernie Fix and never has the idea of community seemed so topical and essential as it does now. This pandemic has become an ultra marathon and even if we can’t feel the effects of the stress acutely, it is undoubtedly chipping away at our defences and ready to rear its ugly head when we least expect it.

Right now, there is an integral part of our community that needs our support. 

The simple combination of walking outdoors while exploring important aspects of our lives intuitively just makes sense. When Tyla conducted her research and wrote a dissertation, she constantly had to defend her inquiry into taking therapy outside of the safety of four walls and a couch and into the great outdoors.