Run for Women, an Exercise in Mental Health

Published: June 2021

Krystin began using mental health services through the Women’s Mental Health Clinic during the pandemic about three weeks after giving birth to her first child, Noah. Barely able to eat or sleep due to her anxiety, she grew concerned.

“I was having one Ensure smoothie a day,” she admits.

One day, after she realized she was no longer able to care for herself or her newborn son, Krystin contemplated admitting herself to the hospital.

“I was sitting on the couch with my husband after Noah went to sleep. We were praying and listening to music. We both felt like seeking help was the right choice.”

Krystin admitted herself the next day to the psychiatric unit at Foothills Medical Centre. Through that experience, she met and worked with Dr. Lisa Gagnon, psychiatrist and founder of the Women’s Mental Health Clinic.

Dr. Gagnon worked with Krystin to ensure she was on the proper medications and helped her manage her anxiety, eventually diagnosing her with postpartum anxiety, a condition that has excessive worrying, racing thoughts, and feelings of dread as early warning signs.

Krystin recovered, so much so that when she was ready for her second child, the Clinic and Dr. Gagnon were there once again to support her.

“The Clinic was so helpful,” Krystin says. “I feel like she (Dr. Gagnon) and her team saved my life. If it wasn’t for them, I honestly don’t know if I’d even be alive anymore, because of how sick I was.”

Krystin received therapy through the Clinic, a service made possible thanks to the Run for Women. Brought to you by the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program—an initiative that works with charities across Canada to help advance women’s health—the Run for Women raises money for the Women’s Mental Health Clinic and the Calgary Eating Disorder Program, both funded by Calgary Health Foundation.  

Thanks to her experience, Krystin now gives back as a peer support volunteer for other moms experiencing the same kinds of postpartum struggles as she did.   

>> Click here to watch Krystin tell her story on Global News

Shoppers Drug Mart™ Run for Women

The Run for Women aims to destigmatize and bring awareness to mental health conditions. COVID-19 has made this especially important as physical distancing and being apart from family and friends has strained our mental health.

This year more than ever, the Run for Women will move us together in the name of better mental health.

We’d love to have you join. Walk, run, or wheel in support of families like Krystin’s, and care for your mental health at the same time.
 
>> Click here to register for the Run for Women

Nearly one in five women will experience mental health difficulties, such as major depression or an anxiety disorder, during their reproductive years. Mental health problems impact fetal and child development, affect families, and increase the risk of suicide, the leading cause of death in pregnant and postpartum women in Alberta. The Women’s Mental Health Clinic helps to support women through this sometimes very difficult period of their lives.

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