On Friday October 30, Olivia Duwyn, completed a one kilometer open water swim in Lake Huron at Sauble Beach to raise money for child and youth mental health services at the Owen Sound Regional Hospital. Olivia’s mother, brother, and grandmother were there cheering Olivia on as she jumped into the lake and completed the swim in just under half an hour. All are proud of Olivia for sharing her struggles and for raising funds for local services.
During her teens Olivia suffered from severe depression and anxiety and she knows first-hand how important local hospital services are for children and youth. Olivia is challenging herself to raise funds by completing a Triathlon for mental health. For part two, on Tuesday, November 3, Olivia and her grandfather, Don Wilkinson, will be biking 25 kilometers. When $10,000 is raised Olivia will be running 42.2 kilometers the equivalent of a marathon. The marathon will be the most difficult of the three challenges for Olivia.
Olivia says “I find that physical activity has helped me to manage my mental health, whenever I am feeling down or stressed or anxious I will go for a run, or hop in the pool for an hour, or get on my bike and ride as fast as I can until I feel better.” Olivia explains “Exercise is great way for me to get my emotions in check so that I can face a situation with a clear head.”
“We are more than proud of her accomplishments, both mentally and physically,” shares Olivia’s mom, Kerry Wilkinson, “She has worked hard and we also have worked very hard as a family to get to where we are today. We try not to dwell on the past but look to the positive things that have come from our experiences.”
Olivia has raised over $5,000 towards her goal through family and friends. “It has been a real pleasure to work with Olivia, and to get to know her. What an inspiration she is for sharing her story, to recognize the need from experience for mental health support in our community and inspire people to donate,” says Amy McKinnon, Executive Director of the Owen Sound Regional Hospital Foundation, “There is no way you would get me to swim in the lake at this time of year.”
Olivia grew up in Owen Sound and is currently a second year student at Kings University at Western University with plans to pursue a career in social work. To support Olivia please visit https://www.oshfoundation.ca/olivia-tri/