School prin­ci­pal rais­ing aware­ness for mental health

Lee Masters tak­ing the long route to work Oct. 10

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY COLIN FAR­RELL THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

RUSHOON, NL— Lee Masters, prin­ci­pal at Christ the King School in Rushoon, plans to raise aware­ness of mental health one step at a time.

Oct. 10 is World Mental Health Day – that’s the day Masters plans to leave his home in Win­ter­land to walk 50 kilo­me­tres to the school in Rushoon.

“Some­time, while we’re re­ally quick to look out to our phys­i­cal health, we’re not al­ways quick to do the same for our mental health,” said Masters. “The two are linked to­gether, so I though about do­ing some­thing

“What a won­der­ful way to cel­e­brate that day, which some­times goes un­der the radar, and bring some light to the idea that ev­ery­day we can do some­thing that pro­motes our mental well­ness.” Lee Masters

that linked phys­i­cal fit­ness and health with mental health.”

Mas­ter said over the past months, he has been avail­ing of the com­mu­nity’s walk­ing trails and fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties.

“I be­came a walker, and that evolved into (the idea) to do some sort of a walk.”

The idea turned into a walk to work, and chose to do it on World Mental Health Day.

“What a won­der­ful way to cel­e­brate that day, which some­times goes un­der the radar, and bring some light to the idea that ev­ery­day we can do some­thing that pro­motes our mental well­ness,” he said.

Masters has re­ceived sup­port from friends, fam­ily and co­work­ers, as well as the stu­dents of Christ the King.

“Late in my walk as I ap­proach the com­mu­nity of Rushoon, all the stu­dents here at the school are go­ing to join me in the last kilo­me­ter.”

The stu­dents will meet Masters at the bridge in Rushoon. From there they will con­tinue to the school, where they will as­sem­ble in the gym for a dis­cus­sion on mental health.

He said peo­ple have shown their sup­port by ask­ing if they could join him, and of­fer­ing to sup­ply food and wa­ter along his route.

“I didn’t make it into a fundraiser,” he said. “It’s not about rais­ing money, it’s about rais­ing aware­ness.

“It has been over­whelm­ing, the re­sponse I have got­ten from the pub­lic, from peo­ple I barely know who have en­cour­aged me along the way to see this through, and have pledged their sup­port.”

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