The Borderline Walk Sunday May 24, 2015 was a huge success!

What a beautiful day it was! More participants than ever walked along beautiful Sunnyside Boardwalk on Sunday May 24, 2015 to remove stigma and raise awareness about Mental Health and Borderline Personality Disorder. In an atmosphere of support and solidarity the walk gathered people of all ages for a relaxed and fun event. Our "sandwich" board volunteers joined the walkers and displayed messages highlighting mental health challenges, statistics and words of encouragement.

Who was there?

Kick off ceremonies included key note speaker Donna Duncan, President and CEO of The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, actors John Ralston of "Life with Derek" and "Degrassi" fame and Rosemary Dunsmore of "Anne of Green Gables", local musician Michelle Ronchin aka R. Shelley, and last but not least Pat Healy, Sasha's heart recipient who came all the way from Boston with his wife Karen in support of this event. To complement the atmosphere, musicians Matt Elder and Rob Hughes from last year's walk performed some live songs, joined by R. Shelley, during the walk to the delight of the crowd.


Donna Duncan
picture courtesy of John Fraser

Rosemary Dunsmore
picture courtesy of John Fraser

Michelle Ronchin aka R. Shelley
picture courtesy of John Fraser

Click on image below to see the Borderline Walk Smile Box by ESWIM, Sasha's old swim club. Great to see so many young people working together to bring awareness about mental health during the walk.
Borderline Walk Smile Box by ESWIM

Thank you!

The Sashbear Foundation would like to thank all volunteers who worked diligently to plan and deliver a spectacular event. Thanks also to all who helped kick off the event in style and to our Platinum Sponsor Car Park Management and the rest of our sponsors for believing in the cause. And of course, THANK YOU to all of the supporters who walked and donated to the walk; you are making a difference and with your help the voice of those in need is louder today. Already this event has attracted Canadian media like never before, with CTV's W5, CBC's National News, CBC's Toronto News and The Toronto Star, all in attendance during yesterday's walk. Collectively we can make a bigger impact!

Media stories about the walk

Front page of the Toronto Star - He walks in honour of Etobicoke swimmer whose heart saved his life

Evening News on CBC's The National, May 24, 2015 -

The walk also appeared during CTV W5's episode entitled "Emotional Rescue"


Here's a quote of support we received from Dr. Alan Fruzzetti:

"I commend the Sashbear Foundation for organizing this walk to bring attention to borderline personality disorder and other problems related to chronic and severe emotional dysregulation. Borderline personality disorder brings much suffering, affecting 2 to 3 percent of the population. The more attention we can bring to it, and more resources we can put into research, the better we can understand the disorder and make evidence-based treatments available to the people who need it. The Sashbear Foundation has been highly effective at increasing awareness, and deserves our support."

Alan Fruzzetti is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. He provides extensive training for DBT in the United States and abroad. Dr. Fruzzetti is Research Director of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) and is co-creator of the Family Connections Program. Dr. Fruzzetti teaches skills to families in order to reduce stress, conflict, depression and feelings of hopelessness; and build the family’s support for their loved one with BPD. In addition to maintaining an active clinical practice, Dr. Fruzzetti has created multiple successful DBT applications for individuals, couples, parents, and families and has provided extensive training in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand in family interventions.


Borderline Walk pictures

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


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:

  • Borderline What? - a message of hope School Talks
  • Swim Relays
  • Peer support facilitation
  • Future events to raise awareness
  • Capacity building projects such as DBT training


Messages of awareness

The following messages of awareness were shown during the walk by our tireless volunteer "sandwich people" which carried them, one on their back and one on their front:


  • 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.