The Fernie Fire Department presented the East Kootenay Foundation for Health (EKFH) a $1,000 cheque on Nov. 4 to be put towards the Not Alone Campaign, an initiative raising money to support the opening of the Foundry East Kootenay.
The Foundry seeks to offer mental health services to local youth, becoming the central support resource for those dealing with any degree of mental illness.
“Substance abuse, mental health issues and suicide are all problems that the fire service sees and deals with on a regular basis,” said Fernie firefighter, Cory Robinson.
“The Fernie Fire Rescue Firefighters Association is happy to support programs and initiatives that will tackle these problems locally and in a proactive manner. The Not Alone Campaign does just that by providing early intervention and cooperation between clinical and social support programs for youth in the East Kootenays.”
The Not Alone fundraiser officially launched on Nov. 1, and since then has raised roughly $30,000.
According to Brenna Baker, Executive Director of the EKFH, the EKFH is grateful for the fire department’s support in spreading the word about the Not Alone Campaign.
“Yes, we need to raise the funds, but I think awareness on this campaign is huge – people reaching out and telling their story,” said Baker.
“Mental health is important and people need to be able to talk about it, and I think the more people that share their stories, the more people that are going to come out and say, ‘Okay, I’m not alone'”.
The Not Alone Campaign hopes to raise $1.4 million in the upcoming year and a half, however Baker believes the Elk Valley can come together to meet that goal far sooner.
Anyone looking to donate to the Not Alone Campaign can do so on the EKFH’s website at Ekfh.ca, by calling 250-489-6481, or mailing donations to East Kootenay Foundation for Health, 13 24th Ave N. Cranbrook BC, V1C 3H9.