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HomeNewsBaseball for Dad expands, installs new “Buddy Bench” in Maynooth

Baseball for Dad expands, installs new “Buddy Bench” in Maynooth

As Mental Health Awareness Week wraps up, Baseball for Dad has seen growth this week like no other.

Organizer Louri Snider says the group couldn’t be happier with the first year and it really shows how much need there is for mental health support in the community. During Mental Health Week, Baseball for Dad wrapped up a scavenger hunt across Bancroft that saw ribbons with encouraging messages hung across town. In the last year, Snider has seen more people were getting involved than ever before. While the movement started out small after the death of Louri’s son Mark after losing him to suicide, they have grown impressively over the last year. They were hoping to place one ball glove a month, with each glove holding a special message for those who find them, raising awareness about mental health. 168 gloves have now been placed, with the most recent one placed on the anniversary of Mark’s passing this week. Baseball for Dad wanted to place one “Mark’s Buddy Bench” a year, a specially designed bench also raising awareness around mental health. As of now 24 have been placed, going to be placed, or put on order. The most recent one was installed at the Hastings Highlands Municipal Centre as of this week, as Mark worked for the Municipality at the time of his passing. All of this happened within one year of the founding for Baseball for Dad.

Snider says she and other members love the support, and it’s showing that people are seeing the need for the change in the discussion around mental health. The movement will only be expanding, with the team reaching out to other townships like Carlow/Mayo. After a successful virtual scavenger hunt and a strong showing for mental health week, Snider says their message is going strong. She reminds everyone that it’s okay to not be okay, you’re not alone and there’s help. Snider only sees good things in the future for the movement, as they continue their quest to knock the stigma around mental health out of the park.

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