Most societies still view everything related to mental health as a threat and are uncomfortable towards it. These attitudes most often encourage stigma and discrimination towards people suffering from mental health. We are better at sweeping mental illness and disability under the carpet than confronting it.
In light of these factors Nivendra Uduman and Hansini Gunasekera, both who are psychologists are doing a 750 KM trek. A walk to create awareness, to break down boundaries, and do away with barriers about mental illness and disability
Footsteps to Freedom which starts on August 18, is a walk across Sri Lanka to raise awareness on mental health with the hopes of raising funds to help and provide psychosocial support for children and journey to create awareness about mental health. The walk will start at Dondra and continue all the way to Point Pedro which is roughly a 750 KM trek.
Nivendra will be joined by Hansini Gunasekara, both who are psychologists will complete the distance within a period of 30 to 40 days. The journey would consist of six phases as listed below.
Phase 1- Dondra to Ratnapura
Phase 2- Ratnapura- Kandy
Phase 3- Kandy to Dambulla
Phase 4- Dambulla to Vavuniya
Phase 5- Vavuniya to Kilinochchi
Phase 6- Kilinochchi to Point Pedro
The objective of the walk is to raise awareness related to mental health and psychosocial issues, combat stigma and shame associated to mental illness in Sri Lanka, to raise one million in aid of “Samutthana – The King’s College Resource centre for trauma, displacement & mental health” as funds to provide mental health & psychosocial services to the children affected by the recent floods in Sri Lanka, to conduct assessments of psychosocial needs of children in affected areas such as Aranayaka, Kilinochchi etc, to conduct individual and group therapy, to facilitate creative therapy and workshops on ‘confidence building’, ‘study skills’ & ‘resilience building’
You can support by donating to the flood relief fund – details available on our Facebook page (Footsteps to Freedom). Join us on the walk with your family & friends and help spread awareness on mental health. Sponsor the gear and equipment.
Show your support by lending a hand. For more information contact 777 346 334, or 711 558 304 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(All images courtesy the event page Footsteps To Freedom)