The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is proud to announce Jonathan Toews as the 2017 recipient of the Marg Starzynski Mental Health Leadership Award.  This award is presented to individuals whose dedicated leadership in community mental health awareness and through personal contributions to raising awareness of mental illness has had a positive impact on the mental health community.

Jonathan hiked Ontario’s Bruce Trail in five separate 24hr (100km) hikes from February 4 to March 4.  Jonathon chose to complete this extreme challenge during February as this is often one of the toughest months for individuals with depression. He hiked through short days and long nights in extreme weather often needing to wear snow shoes to complete his trek.  He faced this incredible physical challenge to raise funds and awareness for mental health.  Jonathan wanted to send a message of hope and demonstrate how we all need to face our own challenges head on.  During the hike he often discussed his own struggles with depression and was joined by supporters who encouraged him to continue. Each Saturday he would hike a marathon but still took time to share his message during Facebook live posts from the trail. The videos show what Jonathan was facing and the final video when he completed his 5th and last hike, was especially impactful. His videos are located here:   here:

We congratulate Jonathan on completing his challenge, for demonstrating leadership, successfully raising awareness of mental illness and having a positive impact on all those involved. Jonathan is already planning his 2nd Annual Hike in February 2018.


For more information:
Dave Gallson
Associate National Executive Director