Outrun the Stigma Planning Committee Application


Outrun the Stigma Mission and History

Outrun the Stigma aims to contribute to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health that prevents people from expressing their authentic selves, discussing their experiences, seeking support, and feeling a sense of belonging into their community.  Outrun the Stigma began when a group of students identified a gap in the running culture that support mental health issues.  As running events assume an important role in garnering attention, resources, and public support for health issues, Outrun the Stigma organizes an annual 5km walk/run and 10km run by the same name that brings community members together to discuss mental health experiences, listen to a community speaker share their mental health experience, connect community members with mental health resources, and support local mental health services.  Since October 2013, Outrun the Stigma has organized four annual events, each bringing together over 350 students, community members, and volunteers and raising over  $78,000 for Distress Centre Calgary. Beyond the annual run, Outrun the Stigma aims to facilitate yearlong dialogue and activities that address mental health stigma through partnership with community organizations, universities, and grassroots initiatives.

Our Future

Outrun the Stigma is now a not-for-profit organization (NFP) with the aim of expanding our run and other initiatives to campuses and communities across Canada.  In 2017, the Toronto chapter collaborated with One Brave Night and One Brave Record and the Edmonton chapter had their run in October where they raised money for the CMHA Edmonton. Our goal is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health by bringing communities together to share mental health stories, connect with mental health resources, raise funds to support local mental health services, and elevate mental health awareness.

We need you!

Apart from the numbers, OTS is much more than a run and fundraiser. OTS is an initiative to mobilize mental health awareness to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness. We have collected and shared stories of journey and recovery, connected students and other community members with mental health services and resources, and created a platform for engaging hundreds of community members in the conversation of mental health. Yet, we have so much more to do in achieving our vision. We need you to help take OTS to the next level and make this the best year yet!

While this is a leadership role in which we value creativity, innovation, commitment, and organization, we also aim to support you and your goals in any way we can – whether they be personal, professional, and/or otherwise. We look forward to reading your application and meeting you!

What you need to know before you apply!

The planning committee term is from March–November 2018, with the run/walk taking place in October. Generally:

  • March–August: monthly meetings
  • September–October: weekly meetings
  • November: debrief meeting

These meetings are in addition to meetings you will have with your respective teams and time spent on fulfilling your team’s respective action items. The level of ‘busyness’ at different times during the year varies between teams.

Summary of Planning Committee Teams


Logistics Team

  • Book space and equipment
  • Map route and layout of event
  • Recruit and coordinate volunteers
  • Plan event day logistics

**Special consideration for applying for this team as the OTS Calgary chapter will be taking the run off campus this year!

Sponsorship and Accounting Team

  • Seek out and oversee sponsorships
  • Host fundraisers and apply to local grants
  • Manage and monitor funds

Communications and Promotions Team

  • Create event promotion timeline and strategy on social media
  • Manage event page on Facebook
  • Public relations
  • Manage brand standards

Community Outreach Team

  • Plan logistics, recruit organizations, and coordinate the mental health expo (post-run fair that hosts local mental health organizations and interactive activities) - timeline, activities, and support needed
  • Recruit and coordinate speakers and performers for event
  • Integrate story sharing initiatives into event


  • Create promotional poster designs around a set theme
  • Design snapchat filters and banners
  • Being comfortable with and having access to design software is recommended


Deadline and Contact information

Applications are due by February 28, 2018. Please direct any questions to Sarah and Courtney.