The Blenk Family Fund
This Sunday the second Wild One Trail Run in Kelowna will bring runners and hikers of all ages – some with four-legged companions – out to enjoy the beautiful Wilden backcountry. All proceeds of the run will go to the Blenk Family Fund for Youth Mental Health. Blenk Development Corp., the company developing Wilden, will match the amount raised. What exactly is the Blenk Family Fund?
The Blenk Family Fund was established in 2017 with the goal to build resilience and heighten awareness around the topics of youth mental health and suicide prevention – to better understand and make an impact where help is needed. The members of the Blenk Family are actively involved in research and expanding the network of care in our community.
The Foundry in Kelowna is supported by the Blenk Family Fund on an ongoing basis. The Foundry offers core health and wellness services and support to young people aged 12-24 and their families – online and through integrated service centres in seven communities across BC. Together with KGH and Interior Health, the research project “CLARITY” aims to strengthen the resilience of youth and prevent suicide risk before it arises.
“Knowledge is Power” (KIP) is a series of free public education forums that focus on a variety of child and youth mental health topics like anxiety, depression, disordered eating, and bullying. KIP events feature a knowledgeable and experienced guest speaker or panel of experts and regularly have audiences of 200+ people. The Blenk Family Fund supports the offering of a minimum of 2 to 3 forums per year with a total attendance of up to 600 people.
safeTALK: is a 3 hour training to become alert to when someone may be thinking about suicide, how to talk about it, and how to connect to local intervention resources. This is a simple but effective course where participants learn the TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe. The Blenk Family Fund covers the costs of 3 safeTALK courses (total attendance of 90 people) offered free to the community during the month of September.
“We have been getting a lot of support from our residents and partner companies in our initiatives,” says Karin Eger-Blenk, Chair of Board at Blenk Development. “It is clear that the youth mental health crisis touches everybody’s life in one way or another, and we have to act together in order to help the young generation grow strong and healthy.”