The head of a Richmond development firm is hoping to help promote healthy bodies and minds with a fundraising hike up the Grouse Grind next month.
Called the Grind for the Mind, the second annual event on Sept. 6 is the idea of Paramjit Sandhu, the Ampri Group’s founder, whose exercise regime used to include routine work outs in the often uninspiring confines of a fitness gym until the challenge of the great outdoors along the popular, North Shore mountain trail provided him with much more than just a muscular workout.
“Hiking the Grouse Grind is good for your body and your mind,” said Sandhu who traverses the steep trail — that has an elevation of 853 metres (2,800 feet — two to three times a week. “It’s good to get the exercise outdoors in the fresh air. It gives you time to think, and you feel so much better, both physically and mentally afterwards.”
That uplifting experience, plus the prevalence of mental health in society — one in five Canadians will experience some form of mental illness — made the hiking fundraiser a natural pairing.
“The response in our first year was fantastic,” said Amit Sandhu, Paramjit’s son who is Ampri’s CEO. “The fact we had about 125 people, mostly family, friends and trades and business-related people, come out despite the torrential weather that day and support the cause with a $30,000 contribution to the Richmond Hospital Foundation speaks volumes about the interest in mental health, and improving programs around it.”
Money raised during the Grind for the Mind will be directed to developing an innovative, family-centred model of care in the mental health unit at Richmond Hospital.
“Mental illness and substance abuse not only affects the individual but also those close to them who, often, are the most important people in their support network,” said Natalie McCarthy, Director of Mental Health and Addictions, and Residential Care at Richmond Hospital.
By providing more educational information to that supportive segment with the extra funding, family and friends can develop a better understanding of the situation and help provide better overall outcomes for their loved ones, she added.
Natalie Meixner, president and CEO of the Richmond Hospital Foundation said the Sandhu’s deserve a lot of thanks for their efforts to not only raise money for mental health treatment, but to raise awareness about the subject as well.
By opening up the event this year to include more than Ampri Group’s circle of contacts, hopes are to surpass last year’s total.
The Sept. 6 hike starts at the base of the Grouse Grind trail at 9 a.m.
It is followed by a presentation at the mountain top’s Theatre in the Sky by Dr. Reena Sandhu of Vault Therapy.
To get more information on the Grind for the Mind and register for the hike, visit the fundraiser’s web page at grindforthemind.com.
© 2015 Richmond News