Tom's Walk returns to Devon

The Maxwell Family

Sunday's walk aims to create further awareness of mental illness and suicide.

People in Devon are coming together on Sunday to raise awareness of mental illness and suicide.

Tom's Walk returns for a second year, with the aim to raise $5000.

The event is held in honour of Thomas Maxwell, who lived with Schizoaffective Disorder and committed suicide at age 23 in 2018. It is part of Toronto's Sashbear Walk, which uses its funds raised to teach effective life coping skills and to expand the Family Connections program across Canada.

Thomas' parents, Kelly and Stuart, are big supporters of Family Connections, with Kelly saying it has changed her life.

"These skills are helping me become a better teacher, colleague, wife, and [even] a better Tim Horton's drive-thru [patron]. It affects every part of your life, you don't just have to have a severe situation for these skills to help," said Kelly. 

Kelly explains how her family felt when they first joined the program. 

"You're just hopeless and desperate. You find out that you're not the only one, you're not alone, that there are so many people that totally understand your story and see you as a person," she said. 

The Sunday event kicks off at 1:00 with a five-kilometre route that accommodates runners, walkers, and bicyclers. The walk sees participants go from the south side of Devon at the baseball diamonds, through to the north side and down to the river to Voyageur Park.

After the walk, a BBQ with music and a short program will also be held at Voyageur Park.

Find the full details on Tom's Walk here. 

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