Lindsay Gee, a Langford resident, has started a fundraising campaign called ‘Pushing for Awareness,’ encouraging participants to commit to 50 push-ups for 50 days starting on May 12 to raise awareness and funds for various organizations helping children deal with mental health illness.

Langford mom commits to 50 push-ups for 50 days in support of childhood mental health

Pushing for Awarness, literally

When Lindsay Gee’s 10-year-old son, Owen, started having panic attacks in Grade 2, she thought she could handle it.

Over the next few years the panic attacks got worse, eventually turning into a weekly occurrence and then multiple times a week lasting two to three hours every time. Adding to the crisis, Owen, now in Grade 5, was having what he called ‘sad days.’

“He started coming downstairs in the morning and I could see it on his face — his depression mask — it’s your kids face but it’s foggy or grey,” says Gee. “He would say ‘Mommy, my whole body feels sad.’”

That’s when the Langford resident knew she needed to get Owen help, taking him to the mental health clinic, he was put on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist.

Owen had been seeing his school counsellor for years, working on strategies to deal with his anxiety. “But there comes a point where strategies don’t work for a kid with a chemical imbalance.”

READ ALSO: Canadian psychiatrist advises doctors how to help patients during Ramadan

Four months on a waiting list was hard for the family and Owen would constantly ask about how much longer it would be before he could get help.

“My son is really self aware, he knew he needed help,” says Gee. “It was daily he would ask if he was off the waiting list. Did I call, did I email — it was everyday.”

Two weeks ago, Owen finally saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety and depression. Owen was prescribed medication — brain vitamins, as Gee calls them — and has been taken them for a little over a week. The family haven’t seen any changes as of yet but remain hopeful as this medication usually takes a few weeks to start working.

Owen’s depression isn’t situational, it’s a chemical imbalance, due to the neurological fatigue caused by his anxiety and panic attacks.

“It’s like a virus or a cold so we have to treat that — I wish it was something I could fix,” says Gee.

Doing what she can to help, Gee has created a fundraising campaign called Pushing for Awareness. Encouraging participants to commit to 50 push-ups for 50 days in order to raise awareness, and funds, for childhood mental illness.

When people join the challenge they get access to an app that keeps track of their push ups and gives them their own fundraising page to share with their friends and family. Currently 20 people have committed, but Gee has big goals. She wants to see hundreds of people joining with the goal of raising $5,000 to divide between multiple organizations that support children and families with mental health issues.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay double murder trial enters second week

“There are going to be days where you don’t want to do the push ups, but there are days where my son doesn’t want to battle mental health,” she says.

The biggest message Gee would like to get across is the parents of children dealing with their mental health.

“You are not alone and you’re not a terrible parent if you feel like you’re failing,” she says. “If you’re loving your child and you’re advocating for them then you’re doing the best you can.”

For now, Owen is relieved to be getting the help he needs and Gee is happy to have her hockey-loving son back.

“He’s an annoying 10-year-old now,” she says. “Which I love.”

For more information on the fundraising campaign or to donate visit fundly.com/50-for-50-pushup-challenge-for-childhood-mental-health-aware-50-for-50-pushups-challenge#



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

A big trigger for Owen’s anxiety is hockey, but it’s a sport that he loves and continues to push on and play. Playing for the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies, Gee says the coaches have been nothing but supportive, making the struggle a little easier for the family. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombudsman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of fatal bus crash

Human case of West Nile virus reported in B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported on Vancouver Island in August

Victoria puppy dies after consuming poisonous mushrooms

A chocolate lab turned in to the Victoria Humane Society died Thursday morning

UVic announces review into circumstances of fatal bus crash

Upcoming student trip on the same route not cancelled

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

Poutine With Purpose Pub Crawl supports local charity

Enjoy a pub favourite while helping to feed local kids

Spooky meets retro at the Victoria Vintage Halloween Fair

It’s never to early to start planning your costume

Police investigate tree poisoning in Mill Bay

About 25 trees have to be taken down after holes drilled, poison injected

Most Read