Our Event and History
We began Outrun the Stigma as students at the University of Calgary when Co-Founders Leah Shipton and Amy Li noticed a gap in the running culture for runs that raise mental health awareness. Our group of student leaders came together to start Outrun the Stigma Calgary run event to fill that gap. To remain grassroots, every Outrun the Stigma run event invites local community members to speak about their mental health experiences and hosts a Mental Health Expo involving local community organizations, businesses, and charities. Since October 2013, we have brought together more than 4,500 students, community members, and volunteers to raise over $190,000 for mental health organizations in Calgary and Edmonton.
In May 2016 our student club initiative transitioned to a not-for-profit organization with the goal of expanding our online platform and hosting our annual event in cities and communities across Canada.
Our goal is to reduce mental health stigma by hosting annual Outrun the Stigma event runs and hosting an online story sharing platform. We started in Calgary and expanded to Edmonton in 2017. We will expand throughout Canada in the coming years.
We also fulfill this mission by:
Using our website and social media platforms, we encourage sharing of diverse mental health stories
Connecting people with mental health resources and support
Funding organizations that provide mental health services and programs
Inclusive of all mental health experiences
Respectful of the complexity of mental health
We recognize our responsibility in balancing a sensitive topic. Celebrating the potential and success of individuals who experience mental illness is important. But we also acknowledge the difficulty of practicing mental wellness. Therefore, we aim to be respectful, positive, and authentic to the many diverse experiences of mental health.