New event kicks off in Kelowna this weekend for mental health

Strike Out the Stigma

The first of its kind Strike Out the Stigma event takes aim at mental illness this weekend.

Presented by You Are Collective, the two-day event will host a slo-pitch tournament between seven charities from Alberta and B.C. at the East Kelowna Ball Fields, Saturday and Sunday.

"One of the things we've been hearing the most is just how hard it is for people with mental illnesses to go out and find that community they want to be a part of," said founder of You Are Collective, Rebecca Steinhubl.

You Are Collective is an apparel company that launched last fall and donates 10 per cent of purchases to mental health services.

Participating charities in the tournaments include the Canadian Mental Health Association, The Bridge Youth and Family Services, Mamas for Mamas, Parkinson Alberta, Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, Foundry Kelowna and more.

Aside from friendly competition, the charities will be sharing resources and information. There will also be food trucks, vendors and local artisans on site. 

The event lands on the start of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

"We chose October on purpose because as everyone is getting back into routine we don't want them to forget how important it is to keep caring for yourself and for the community you're in," said Steinhubl.

"We chose a ball tournament because its that team aspect as well as just getting active - which we know plays a really big part in mental health."

The top charity will be rewarded with a grand prize donation to help fund its programs.

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