Join the Defence Team Minds Matter team for the Run for Women in support of mental health

June 8, 2021 - Defence Stories


“Defence Team Minds Matter” teammates participate in the 2020 Run for Women, raising almost $3,000 for women’s mental health.
September, 2020

Defence Team members, and their families and friends, are invited to join Defence Team Minds Matter and participate in the 2021 Virtual Run for Women (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website) 5K or 10K run/walk/roll this July. With the Deputy Minister as captain, anyone who joins the Defence Team Mind Matters team will (virtually) join thousands of walkers and runners across Canada in raising awareness and funds for 18 women’s mental health programs in Canada.

Anytime, anywhere, between July 4 and 11.


This year marks the third year that the Defence Team Minds Matter team will be participating in the event. Our ‘why’ – supporting mental health programs so they can help women like Rachel Scott Mignon (Volunteer at The Royal and mental health advocate):

“At various times over the past 15 years, since my bipolar, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and eating disorder diagnosis, I have benefitted from The Royal’s many resources including the groups in the women’s program such as journaling, art, and wellness support groups that have taught me new skills, coping mechanisms and ways of expressing myself.

The women’s mental health programs are more important during the pandemic than ever before. I know I’m not alone in finding this situation is detrimental to my mental health.  They are life-saving. That’s why the upcoming Run for Women is such an important event. 

Knowing that thousands of Canadians are walking, rolling and running to support those of us who live with mental illness gives me such hope. Hope for more programs! Hope for better treatments! Hope for my future self! Hope for other women like me in the community!”

Captain, Deputy Minister Jody Thomas’ ‘why’:

“With our huge footprint across Canada, our Defence Team has the capacity for enormous good when we put our minds to it. The Run for Women give us all chance to support mental health initiatives in communities across the country in a way that is COVID-safe. I hope folks will join us.”


The Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces, Rear-Admiral Geneviève Bernatchez, was proud to participate in the 2020 “Defence Team Minds Matter’’ virtual group who ran/walked/rolled for women’s mental health. September, 2020.

First-time participant, Emily Keenan’s ‘why’:

"After the adversity we’ve all faced throughout this pandemic and the impact it has had on mental health, I knew that this was the year I wanted to do my part and get involved in helping raise both money and awareness for The Royal and the mental health programs it offers. The Run for Women is a great opportunity to do just that while also getting outside, getting active, and virtually participating with others!”

No matter what your ‘why,’ every single person who participates or donates will be making a difference in the lives of women in the community who are struggling with mental illness. Funds are raised through registration fees and donations (one hundred per cent directed to one of 18 charity partners across Canada). The LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart Swag Bag that each participant receives, valued at over $100, is also a fun incentive.

How to register:

*If located in the National Capital Region (NCR): To join the Defence Team Minds Matter team or donate, visit the Run for Women web site (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website); under team name type in “Minds Matter” and click ‘Search for a Team’; click on “Defence Team Minds Matter HQ – NCR”; and click “Join Team” or “Donate Now” (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website).

*If located outside of the NCR: Defence Team members based in 17 other locations across Canada are encouraged to set up their own city’s Defence run/walk team to raise funds that will support women’s mental health programs in their local regions.

To create a team in your city, visit the Run for Women web site (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website), select your city, and create a team. In order to ensure that your teammate and fundraising totals will be included in the Defence Team Minds Matter overall fundraising total, please ensure you add “Defence Team Minds Matter + Location” when you set up your team.

Registration (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website) for team members ends June 25, so register today!

If you have any questions or have taken part in the event and have photos to share, please send an email to

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