Lutherwood starts Team Unbreakable Teen Run Therapy Program

(Waterloo, Feb. 14, 2012) — At Lutherwood, a not-for-profit organization in Waterloo, Ontario, a new youth program is off and running starting Feb. 14, 2012.

Teaming up with CameronHelps, a youth suicide prevention charity, Lutherwood is introducing a run-group therapy program for teens who are battling with depression and mental illness.

The 12-week Team Unbreakable program is modelled after a similar program developed by social worker Dan McGann at Credit Valley Hospital and supported by CameronHelps. About a dozen young adults will participate in twice-weekly runs, hear from motivating guest speakers and benefit from a group of dedicated coaches.

The science behind physical activity and how it can reduce depression and improve mental health is gaining new recognition, says CameronHelps founder David Harris. “The Credit Valley program is unique and we wanted to share the findings with other organizations. As a run-therapy coach myself, I can see the improvement in their attitude and outlook—it’s making a lasting impact.”

Lutherwood provides a wide range of mental health, employment development, housing and family support services in Waterloo Region and Wellington County. Mel Rose of Lutherwood heard through the media about the run-therapy program in Mississauga last year and reached out to a running friend at Lutherwood to head up the program.

The Team Unbreakable runs will be held out of the Benjamin Road facility in north Waterloo. Based on four years of experience, CameronHelps provided Lutherwood with a program outline with information on  structure, format and  safety. Program Manager John Knox of CameronHelps will act as a running and program consultant.

“We’re very excited about the program,” says Rose. “We’ve lined up a great lineup of guest speakers and the staff is very excited about starting the program. The orientation and kickoff is February 7.  Participant feedback from the program will be used by a McMaster University research team who are determining the impacts of physical activity on mood disorders.

Team Unbreakable is the name given to the run-therapy program, says Harris. It originated from a young lady who described how she felt when she was running. In her battle against depression and mental illness, she said the energy and the empowerment she received made her feel “unbreakable,” he says.

CameronHelps helps to raise awareness of teen suicide through programs, activities and information. It focuses on how physical activity, such as running, can often reduce depression and improve mental health.

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For more information contact John Knox, jknox@cameronhelps.ca or 416 937 5890

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