Chad Kennedy, a man originally from Calgary and a Canadian Armed Forces Veteran, walked through Portage la Prairie earlier this week as a part of his mission to go Sea to Sea for PTSD.
Chad started in Cranbrook, BC, raising $10 per kilometre on the way. Funds raised during this walk across Canada will benefit mental health initiatives revolving around emergency service and military communities.
Chad and his brother, Brandon Kennedy, checked in with us while in the city to talk about this great cause.
Chad shares that this walk was something he actually came up with in his darkest hour in August 2020 after his last trauma.
"I decided to do something about post-traumatic stress versus it doing something to me and created 'Sea to Sea for PTSD,' a walk across the country to raise awareness for post-traumatic stress amongst our emergency services and the military community."
Chad says that most people think walking would be the hard part of the mission, but he notes he finds the walking part easy.
"It's the emotional drive that keeps me going. The stories are encouraging. A lot of times, they're actually really sad stories. So, you tend to feel like you're carrying the burden of those who can't speak or won't speak of their trauma due to the stigma, so it's the driving force, really."
Brandon Kennedy says it's been great to see so much support for his brother.
"People have been great. It's been a great experience so far. This walking thing's been a little more difficult than I expected. My feet are pretty blistered up, but I keep logging into miles, so it's good. Anything, really, to support Chad."
Brandon says the most significant part of Sea to Sea for PTSD, in his opinion, is just to get people talking.
"Like Chad said, there's a stigma, and a lot of people don't want to talk about mental health. I think it's really important that we talk about it and let people know that it's okay to talk about it. There's a lot of people that suffer from mental health, whether its post-traumatic injuries or otherwise, and there's help out there."
All things considered, Chad thanked Portage for all the hospitality. He went on to add that if he could leave anyone with one thought, it would be, you shouldn't be afraid to reach out for help.