Saturday, September 14, 2019

Episode 23: UNBREAKABLE with Dan McGann of "RxRun", Founder David Harris and Coordinator Nils Blondon- on Mental Health & Group Running Therapy

Episode 23  UNBREAKABLE with Therapist Dan McGann of RxRun, Founder David Harris & Coordinator Nils Blondon, on Mental Health & Running Therapy
Dan McGann, Running Therapist

Therapist Dan McGann is the second of our 3 part series featuring running as therapy, and offers some groundbreaking insights into work with groups of young people and families in Ontario, Canada.  The results of his years of work honing the program are no less than astounding, with now groups of graduates of the program becoming public speakers for other new runners. Now in his 14th year of doing so, Dan has witnessed incredible impact on the mental health and resilience of young people in group therapy and seen running's ability to completely change lives.  It has been so successful that he has extended it to families and now has several groups meeting twice per week (in two different seasonal sessions) throughout the year.  The idea is that individuals will "get moving" and see themselves as successes involved in something life-affirming. This helps achieve something together with a group or family, and builds up to something greater in life. "Running as a training ground to overcome obstacles in our lives / way of thinking", and this is the life goal of Dan's work, especially to change the view of those that perceive themselves as "broken"...

Nils Blondon
Coordinator/Manager Nils Blondon of "Team Unbreakable" also joins us for a bit to explain his work, giving others tools to replicate this important youth work thru running model, and paving a new way of thinking about mental health. He coordinates the curriculum and helps schools/youth program set up their own programs, including motivational speakers and group running focused on young people expressing their feelings, struggles and developing mindfulness.  This is a free service and effort to spread this approach to youth groups throughout the schools in the Toronto area, with hopes to share with organizations and youth groups throughout North America and beyond, so that no one will have to suffer alone.
Unbreakable Group lining up for THE 5K

Lastly, it has been supported continuously by Founder of Unbreakable & CEO David Harris of what was originally "Cameron Helps", created as a lifeline after experiencing the loss of his own son to mental illness.  He explains his own struggles with depression and health, and the solace he has found in running, that he wants to share with others, especially young people who are struggling with depression. This ongoing outreach today is provided through grants, offering resources for anyone hoping to impact mental health access for young people, through running and inspiring role models!

Below you will find amazing stories, inspiration and film demonstrating this work:

Rx Run Documentary (available on Amazon): 

“I Eat Hills for Breakfast”  – interviews with teens and parents.


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