Mount Forest-Native Begins Stickhandle Across Canada

Paulie O'Byrne before he embarked from Victoria on his stickhandling journey across Canada. Photo courtesy of the 'I'm 1in5' Facebook page.

Paulie O’Byrne has begun his journey that will see him stickhandle across Canada.

The Mount Forest-native left from Victoria late Saturday afternoon, on a campaign that will raise money and awareness of mental illness.

Funds raised from the journey will go to the not-for-profit organization I’m 1in5.

To track O’Byrne’s progress, click here.

O’Byrne has played competitive hockey for 14 years and after graduating from Lambton College, landed a coaching opportunity in Delhi, Ontario.

However, clinical depression, anxiety, drug addiction, suicide attempts and post-traumatic stress derailed his life plan.

I’m 1in5 is dedicated to the one in five Canadians affected by addiction, mental illness, trauma, and victimization.

Officials expect the journey will end near the end of October in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

O’Byrne posted this video to his Facebook page on Saturday.

In the video, O’Byrne appears to be wearing a hat with the Wes For Youth logo on the front. Wes For Youth opened a mental health resource centre in Walkerton this past week.