Article courtesy of Magi Scallion – Golden Ultra race organizer.
Golden Ultra’s vertical KM is enough of a challenge for most people; climbing more than 1000m in less than 5 km, with some sections that are so steep you can’t see more than 5m ahead of you when you look up. Hiking (maybe running) up a mountain however, seems to pale in comparison with the struggles some youth face with mental health and substance use.
Ken Thompson is a volunteer with Golden’s Local Action Team for Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use, an organization that strives to increase the number of children, youth and families receiving timely access to integrated mental health and substance use services and supports.
To raise awareness about the struggles youth face, and the actions being taken to alleviate their struggles, Ken volunteered to carry 100 g of additional weight up the vertical KM for every $10 donated. Funds raised will be used towards activities and events for youth in Golden with a mental health and substance use focus. Ken’s goal is to raise $2000 and carry an additional 20kg up the mountain… no small feat!
When asked “Why?”, Ken responded: “The backpack can in many ways symbolise the added challenges of living with mental health and substance use – it is a heavy burden to carry.”
You can donate to this project on Ken’s Pledge page. If you would like more information on Golden’s Local Action Team for Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use, please contact the Golden Family Center.