By Trevor Busch
Sunny South News
Participants in a youth mental health awareness walk passed through the community this week.
Kevin Redsky, a 17-year member of the Anishinabek Police Service, is walking from Winnipeg to Vancouver in 2020 as part of the second Hope in the Darkness walk for youth mental health awareness. Redsky left the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in downtown Winnipeg on July 15.
Originally started in 2018 by Redsky, this year’s walk is focused on a message of hope and empowerment, and along the way he has been enlisting the support of local law enforcement as walkers and escorts throughout the communities he has visited.
“We’re addressing youth mental health and creating awareness, with the theme of continuing to challenge police officers to walk with us, make a financial contribution, or any kind of support they can offer,” said Redsky. “We’ve been pretty successful thus far. For example, since Regina, we’ve had all but two days of police involvement, be it escort or police officers walking with us. We’re doing well out here.”
Redsky said this year’s walk is to challenge members of law enforcement to connect with communities and youth. During the walk’s 14 scheduled days in Alberta, Redsky will be escorted by local police members and detachments as he makes his way into British Columbia via the Crowsnest Pass.
“I’m the main walker, so I’m doing the full walk of the national trek. We do have participants that come just to check in, and they might do a few miles with us…but throughout Alberta we will have a police officer walking with me, and a full police escort.”
Expected to take 90 days in total before arriving in Vancouver, Redsky has been stopping in communities along the way to engage people on youth mental health and improving police relations. There will be a planned celebration when the walk arrives, with the meeting site still to be determined.
Intended to be a call to action, Redsky is positive about the walk as an avenue for addressing the mental health and well-being of young people. Redsky plans to arrive in Vancouver on October 12.
The walk has a gofundme page, Hope in the Darkness 2020, for people interested in making a financial contribution. For more information on the walk, please visit http://www.hopeinthedarkness.ca.