Canterbury students running to fundraise for mental health services

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Sep 28, 2022 |

Photo: Lads without Labels Facebook

By Max Devonshire

A student-led men’s mental health charity from the University of Canterbury is fundraising efforts to provide their fellow students with more funding for mental health services. La Without Labels is hoping to replicate the success of last year’s edition of Running 72, a fundraiser that saw hundreds of students band together to run over 11,000 kilometres for the cause.

Throughout the 72 hours of the fundraiser, there will always be somebody running and raising money.

In 2020, 72 per cent of all suicides in New Zealand were male.

Photo: Lads without Labels Facebook

The money raised in Running 72 will be dedicated to creating a pilot programme designed to aid students and provide professional counselling sessions.

This programme will work in conjunction with the University of Canterbury’s health services.

Lads Without Labels’ Vice President, Aki Shimahara said the pilot programme will be an important stepping stone for students at the University to receive the help they deserve.

“Although the university has amazing support services, it is important to be able to cater for everyone. We believe that by working with the university we will be able to help one more person go through the door to help and also hope that this programme will cater for a more diverse group of students including those that identify within the Rainbow community or studying via distance within New Zealand.”

Last year saw over 6,000 laps of the 2km course run over the 72 hour period and the team has even greater ambitions for this year. Shimahara was “proud of the commitment and unity of the UC community” during last years event.

“I believe we can come back stronger this year and encourage more people to get amongst it! The whole 72 hours not only raises awareness but I believe it provides a safe space for everyone to come together and get to know each other and share their stories.”

The event looks not only to fundraise towards the great cause, but unite students and community members from many different walks of life. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a good or bad runner, it is your presence that means the most.

Anyone can come and take part, and be a part of something truly special.

Running 72, supported by Arepa, finishes tonight.

The Running 72 Givealittle page can be found here:

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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