We spoke with Marie-Hélène Thibeault, organizer of the Mind on Health Challenge, to learn more about the reasons behind her commitment to mental health and her collaboration with the Douglas Foundation.
What motivated you to launch the Mind on Health Challenge?
“I wanted to help to advance research and improve mental health care so that no one has to suffer in silence. Since the death of my husband Eric after a long battle against a bipolar disorder that led to his suicide, I made it my mission to support the cause so that our story does not repeat itself. I am a person who strongly believes in the benefits of physical activity for mental health so the idea of mobilizing people as part of a sports challenge for the benefit of mental health really seemed like an ideal fit.” (Discover Marie-Hélène’s powerful testimonial)
Why did you choose to collaborate with the Douglas Foundation?
“Eric strongly believed in the importance of scientific discoveries in helping to alleviate the suffering caused by mental illness. It was important for me to be able to concretely support an institution that has a lasting and positive impact in this way. The Douglas Institute is a national leader in this field and the idea of providing them with more resources to accelerate and amplify their efforts inspired me greatly.”
According to you, why is it so important to support research?
“The human brain is a complex organ that still houses many mysteries. Science and research are essential to unveil all of its intricacies. By supporting research in neuroscience, we will inevitably make gains in our understanding of the brain that will allow us to increase the quality and effectiveness of the treatments and care that are offered in mental health. Scientific discoveries play an essential part in guiding us towards a better world!”
The Mind on Health Challenge is a virtual or in-person sports challenge to raise funds and support research on mental health at the Douglas Institute. The event takes place on October 9-10 as part of World Mental Health Day. To donate to the event or to participate, click here.