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Montreal’s Mindstrong passes $10-million milestone in fundraising for mental health – Montreal |



A Montreal mental health fundraiser has reached an impressive milestone in its ninth year.

After Sunday’s event, the Mindstrong fitness fundraiser passed the $10-million mark for total fundraising over its history.

Hundreds of people have been coming together every year since 2015 to work out for the cause.

“Mental illness really affects everyone. If it’s not you, it’s your family or someone else you know,” said Deanna Rabinovitz, who has participated in every Mindstrong event since its inception.

Participants gather in great numbers at the Midtown Sanctuaire fitness facility for exercises such as Pilates and yoga, all to raise money for mental health care at the Jewish General Hospital.

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“This is our biggest turnout ever, so we’re really proud of that,” said Liz Wiener, Mindstrong 2024 chair and the co-president of the Jewish General Hospital Auxiliary. “We’re really excited that the event came together, and to see so many people out here exercising, it just it’s amazing.”

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The eight events before this year’s Mindstrong raised a total of $9.5 million. Adding on this year’s total, they surpassed $10 million.

According to Dr. Karl Looper, the chief of psychiatry at the Jewish General Hospital, that money helps fund infrastructure upgrades, high-tech equipment, research and more.

“The biggest project that we were able to realize with this funding is a complete renovation of our in-patient unit. It’s a 48-bed unit that required a lot of upgrading. With this funding, it’s now a state-of-the-art facility.”

To its participants, Mindstrong about more than raising money. It’s also about breaking the stigma of mental health and telling  people they’re not alone.

“The bigger picture is the compassion, the empathy. The fact that people are here celebrating something that used to be so stigmatized, that nobody wanted their names or faces associated with it, is huge,” Wiener said.

Exercising has a direct correlation with improved mental health.

“When you exercise, you feel better, and it stimulates endorphins. It’s usually even better if it’s with other people. There’s a social component here and it just really feels fantastic,” Hooper said.

Next year will be Mindstrong’s 10th anniversary, where they’ll seek to get more people together and raise more money than they ever have before.

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