On Monday, September 25 Amy Tunstall, the founder of Aim Outside, took her first steps for awareness on Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath in memory of her father. She will travel 900km of the Bruce Trail from Tobermory to the Niagara Region with a steadfast determination to shatter stigma and connect individuals to mental health resources.
As the founder of Aim Outside, a project that tackles mental health issues while bringing insight to the healing benefits of the great outdoors, Ms. Tunstall has travelled over 17,000 km across two continents, five countries, and ten provinces. Long, adventurous treks are clearly no stranger to Ms. Tunstall. Each expedition she goes on is used to inspire, educate, and provide support to organizations in need.
Why support mental health?
1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health concern. While this is a cause that affects us all in one way or another, this cause is particularly close to Ms. Tunstall’s heart.
Ms. Tunstall’s father died by suicide when she was only five years old. When she turned 13, Ms. Tunstall began to struggle with her own mental health concerns and sought out assistance from numerous counsellors.
“Death in general is always difficult to cope with, but a suicidal death is even harder. People don’t understand. When we think “sick” we assume the physical characteristics of illness; mental health is often times passed off as weakness, but it’s not.” – Amy Tunstall
Ms. Tunstall says that she has been able to better manage her anxiety and depression by experiencing the outdoors and taking on her various ambitious expeditions. For her, these trips have become a large part of her own healing process and it’s one that she continues to share with others.
Join us as we follow Amy Tunstall’s thru-hike of the Bruce Trail for the next month on Facebook and Instagram (@AimOutside). There will be opportunities to meet her in the last 200 km of her trek, so stay connected with us for more information.
We’ll be sharing additional details and resources as this incredible journey for awareness unfolds.