Top 10 TU Fundraisers to Receive So Young Knapsacks and LunchBoxes
The Team Unbreakable Virtual 5k is less than 3 weeks away. The Top 10 Fundraisers will receive a designer matching knapsacks and lunchbox, courtesy of Catherine Choi, founder of So Young. We hope everyone has signed up, and has created a personal pledge page. SoYoung is a Canadian brand of elevated lunch bags on a mission to make packing your lunch sustainable, stylish, and self-empowering.
Designed for the wellness-focused woman and parent, their bags feature a minimal aesthetic and thoughtful features like removable insulated inserts, messenger straps, and accessory pockets.
Seen here modelling the merchandise is Ella Brown, 9, an early registrant!
Team Unbreakable Program Director Nils Blondon was recently interviewed for a Podcast available on Spotify called the B.U. Network. In the Podcast Joe “Dr Energy” and Kathryn “RaRa” interview subjects on what it means to be your authentic self. They interviewed Nils on his work with Team Unbreakable helping students understand the importance of physical health on their mental health and overall wellness.
The Podcast interviews a host of personalities who are often marketers, entrepreneurs or key note speakers. Nils was introduced to Kathryn at a service club meeting and the rest, as they say, is history. The Program Director talks about his early career in working with youth and explains how Team Unbreakable is helping youth in the Toronto area. B. U. Network is named for Be You (e.g. your authentic self)
On Wednesday, January 29, 2020, with your help Bell will donate to mental health initiatives across Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view, and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. Team Unbreakable is one of these initiatives.
Silence has been one of the biggest dangers to people with mental illness: silence allows stigma to grow; stigma causes shame, fear, and secrecy. And secrecy prevents people from seeking and getting the necessary help, attention, and care they need. Despite a call for action by an increasing number of people with mental health difficulties, for most Canadians, mental illness remained a topic not open for discussion. That is until Bell started a new conversation and created a needed dialogue about Canada’s mental health with “Let’s Talk Day” in September 2010.
For the past decade, Bell Let’s Talk has been increasing awareness about the importance of mental health by encouraging all Canadians to participate in the conversation with friends, family, and co-workers. Since Bell Let’s Talk Day began, 86% of Canadians reported that they are more aware of mental health issues, and the vast majority of Canadians now say they are comfortable speaking with others about mental health.
On January 29th, Team Unbreakable urges you to speak up and break the silence! Talk to friends and family about mental health! Help Bell help Team Unbreakable!
Team Unbreakable’s first annual Train the Trainer featured a host of fascinating topics and speakers. One of these speakers was Jennifer Lepock, a PhD Candidate in Neuroscience from the University of Toronto. Jennifer spoke on the current research underpinning exercise and mental health, along with her experience using running to help treat her mood disorder.
Jennifer started running in 2013. She used the sport to help stabilize her mood and ease the symptoms of her new medication. Her personal experience would go on to dovetail with her academic and professional pursuits.
Studies have shown that physical activity can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve feelings of esteem and boost brain functioning in adolescents. “Higher levels of fitness benefit the brain structure and students feel better. This helps them with their school and social relationships,” Jennifer said.
But what is the actual neurochemistry behind physical activity?
Jennifer explained to the group that running triggers neurotransmitters that send chemical messages between the neurons. Serotonin is increased when we run, which helps to regulate mood.
Studies have shown that running at least 30 minutes, three times a week can help people better deal with stress, improve the ability to focus and help treat more chronic issues related to psychosis, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s, Jenny said. Elevated dopamine levels contribute to these results.
And there are additional benefits related to other brain chemicals
Jennifer said that after 30 minutes of running, many people experience a ‘runners high’ that will make them feel better and block pain. Cortisol levels are higher, and more oxygen is getting to the brain resulting in more adrenaline in the body including the hormone epinephrine. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone that help us fight off illness or infections, Jenny added. This “natural high” likens the effect of cannabis.
Jennifer is her last year of the Doctorate Degree. She has volunteered with Team Unbreakable since 2016. The focus of her work is early onset psychosis and schizophrenia in youth populations.
More schools have been hearing about the successes of Team Unbreakable.
Fresh off a Bold and Cold 5k that exceeded fundraising and participation expectations, the plans for Spring 2020 are to double the number of schools from the current 13 to 25. The program is creating a buzz in the community.
New this year is a “Train the trainer” seminar on Dec. 8 at The Runners Academy in Toronto. Current and prospective team leads will be led through the updated materials, taken through drills, and will learn about the neuroscience of running. The University of Toronto’s Mental Health and Physical Activity lab has collaborated with Team Unbreakable to produce new videos and program content for this spring’s training block.
Team Unbreakable is poised for its start up in York Region, while continuing to support old and new programs in Peel, Halton, and Walkerton. “We’re pleased with the growing support and enthusiasm for the program as more schools come on board next year,” said Nils. “It’s a testament to the positive changes we’ve implemented.”