31 August 2017
For Immediate Release
CRAZY FOR WALKING SEND - OFF EVENT TAKES PLACE AT FREEDOM PARK , PRETORIA TOMMOROW 01 SEPTEMBR 2017
Vista Clinic together with other thirty National Health network psychiatric hospitals in the NHN group in partnership with Freedom Park, a National Heritage Destination, cordially invite walkers for a send-off event taking place at Freedom Park on Friday 01 September 2017 at 10h00.
The first few steps will be taken in a campaign to elevate awareness of Mental Illness on Friday 1 September. The “CRAZY FOR WALKING” campaign has a group of walkers walking a crazy distance of 1500km from Pretoria to Cape Town in a period of just over 5 weeks arriving in Cape Town on 10 October, which is World Mental Health Day.
Mr Francois Louw, Executive Director of the National Hospital Network (NHN) and CEO of Vista Clinic, one of thirty psychiatric hospitals in the NHN Group and the principal sponsor of the initiative says: “About one in every three South Africans will suffer from a mental health episode at some stage in their lives and we want to increase sensitivity towards- and awareness of- mental illness. We also want to de-stigmatize the associations around the word “crazy” which is often used through ignorance and fear of mental illness and thus we are supporting this “crazy” initiative of a walk from Pretoria to Cape Town. It is extremely fitting that the walk commences from Freedom Park as it is our intention with this campaign to free sufferers from the stigma associated with mental Illness”
The campaign will focus on depression, anxiety and mood disorders and as the walkers pass through the many towns along the route, there will be educational sessions with free talks at public venues, to increase awareness and understanding of mental illness. Details of the venues of the talks are attached to this and are also available on the www.crazyforwalking.co.za website. The website and the social media platforms will provide regular updates on the progress of the campaign.
“Exercise is one of the tools that assists people to cope with depression and anxiety” says Dr Jerrie Bezuidenhout, Director of Medical Services at Vista Clinic and one of the walkers on the CRAZY FOR WALKING campaign. “We have developed a Happiness HELPS programme and we will promote this along the route in order to equip people suffering from mental illness with some coping tools.”
H – Help Others
E – Exercise (which the walkers will get plenty of)
L – Learn
P – Play
S – Spiritual Growth
On 10 October, World Mental Health Day, CRAZY FOR WALKING aims to bring attention to mental illness in a fun and “crazy” manner through encouraging all South Africans to participate in “CRAZY SOCKS DAY”. On the day, people are encouraged to wear their “crazy” socks and to share pictures of their socks and them wearing these across our social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The Campaign Sponsors are:
- Vista Clinic Private Psychiatric Hospital in Centurion – Main sponsor
- Life Path Health Group of Psychiatric Hospitals in Western Cape area – Platinum sponsor
- Bloemcare Private Psychiatric Hospital in Bloemfontein – Platinum sponsor
- Denmar Private Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria East – Gold sponsor
- Crescent Clinic in Cape Town – Gold sponsor
The campaign social media platforms are:
Website – www.crazyforwalking.co.za
Facebook – Crazy for Walking
Twitter - @CrazyforWalking #Crazyforwalking #crazysocksday
Instagram - @CrazyforWalking
For more information:
Members of Media are invited as follows:
Date: 01 September 2017
Venue: Freedom Park, Pretoria
Mobile: 082 443 1530
012 336 4006/ 060 961 3851