The Borderline Walk on Sunday May 29, 2016 - a record breaker!

The fourth annual Borderline Walk took place Sunday May 29, 2016, along beautiful Sunnyside Boardwalk, Toronto. With a record 500+ walkers, the Borderline Walk is the largest walk of its kind for Borderline Personality Disorder awareness in the world and raised over $31,000 in pledges alone. A big THANK YOU to all those who participated and supported this walk, to our valued sponsors, and to all those countless Sashbear volunteers who worked so hard to make this event a success!

The walk is a symphony of families, people with lived experience, mental health providers, organizations, entertainers, mindfulness practitioners, and educators, Everyone is brought together as one, to share a mindful walk of awareness and celebrate that together we are making waves for those that struggle and their families. This year's walk included music, speeches, a mindfulness bridge walk, mindfulness meditation on the beach and awareness passport activities.

Who was there?

Our kick off ceremonies included keynote speaker Dr. Blaise Aguirre, Medical Director of McLean 3East in Boston and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Also speaking at the ceremonies was Nicole Noren, ESPN Producer, whose Outside The Lines Sasha's Story made waves in the US. Nicole was accompanied by Teresa Braeckel, a sexual assault survivor and advocate. Local musician Michelle Ronchin aka R. Shelley performed "Be There" a new song she wrote for this year's walk and was joined by Matt Elder and Rob Hughes who performed during the walk.


Borderline Walk pictures

Here are a few links to pictures of this year's walk. Just click on the images below:


Borderline Walk Video


As seen by one of our Sashbear walk volunteers

Toronto – Sunday May 29th. 6:45 am. Lynn, Mike, and a bunch of Sashbear volunteers are meeting on the Lakeshore for the Walk. We have been working for months in preparation for the event. The day has finally come!

We get the brooms, cleaning products, paper towels, and latex gloves out, and we enthusiastically start the day. The tables in the registration gazebo are now clean and we cover them with an orange plastic cloth. Orange is our colour, one of Sasha’s favorite colors. It brought sunshine to her darkness.

The stations are ready – Pre-registrations, walk-ins, volunteers table, sandwich boards carriers, t-shirts, water bottles, team flags, door prizes, promo and donation tables, speakers’ corner, photography “booth” with a bench and a big white bear… we are all set to go!

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Your support makes a difference

With the money raised from this event we are disseminating the importance of early prevention, life coping skills and a more compassionate validating environment for everyone. We are bringing awareness and support to communities through our school talks, workshops and conference networking sessions.. Here are some of the efforts that your donations will help fund:

  • Family Connections in Toronto and expansion throughout Canada
  • Borderline What? - a message of hope School Talks
  • Social Emotional Learning STEPS-A DBT skills in Schools Pilot Research Study
  • Future events to raise awareness
  • Capacity building projects such as DBT training


Our Walk Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors for making this event a success. The sponsors of this year's Borderline Walk:







Messages of awareness

The following messages of awareness were displayed during the walk by our tireless "sandwich board" volunteers:


  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better...
  • Let's remove stigma from mental illness and Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • We are all in this together, you are not alone...
  • Validation before problem solving...
  • Emotion Regulation Disorder is the new name for Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • Let's teach DBT skills in schools...
  • Let's intervene, let's intervene early...
  • Show me compassion and empathy first, don't just tell me how to change
  • Let go of judgments and believe in me so that I can believe in myself
  • Accept me so that I can better accept myself
  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better next time
  • Take care of yourself then you can attend to others
  • Be mindful - Observe, describe, participate effectively
  • Observe your own emotions rise and that of others, pause then engage effectively
  • Strive to be wise, not just rational or emotional
  • Change what you can, accept what you cannot
  • Validation is not agreement
  • Validate, Validate Validate
  • Be supportive, let go of judgements
  • We can't control having strong emotions but we can change how we respond to them
  • Hope is everything and is always there even when I cannot see it
  • BPD is more common than Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder combined 6%
  • The suicide rate of BPD victims is 400 times that of general population
  • BPD is the third leading killer of young women between the ages of 15-24
  • 1 of 5 seek help, 4 of 5 benefit from treatment
  • 4,000 young people die by suicide per year in Canada
  • I am not the disorder. I am a person
  • Stop the Stigma - by Speaking Up
  • Living with BPD is like not having an emotional skin
  • Genetic vulnerabilities and invalidating environment could lead to BPD
  • Breathe
  • Mindfulness is not what you think
  • Mindfulness is being present moment to moment
  • Mindfulness is just observing, paying attention to non-judgement
  • Patience, trust, non-striving and acceptance
  • Mindfulness does not come by takes practice
  • Let your breath be your anchor to observe thoughts as they arise
  • Observe thoughts as they come and go like waves on the ocean
  • Pay attention to what you are actually paying attention to
  • What we frequently think we become
  • Turning my auto-pilot off
  • Only that day dawns to which we are awake - Thoreau Walden
  • It is a radical act of love to just just down and be quiet for a time by YOURSELF
  • You are HERE!
  • Make each moment count!
  • I am a valuable part of all that EXISTS
  • I am Love. ALL is Love
  • The practice of mindfulness is not to follow your heart but to train your heart
  • It's OK, let it be
  • Smile at thoughts, they are empty. The only power thoughts have is the power you give them
  • The benefit will come to your life with consistent mindfulness practice everyday
  • Whatever you do to make it mindful!
  • Kindness is pure wisdom
  • Mindfulness is free or craving, want or hate
  • Be gentle to yourself as well as others
  • When you feel connected to someone that connection gives you purpose
  • Practice kindness whenever possible. It's always possible - Dalai Lama

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NOTE: please do not use the button above to sign up for Family Connections (FC) - our Family Skills program. To sign up for FC follow this link instead Family Connections and register directly from that page.