Matt Carlson, left, checks out Samson Haire’s time at the Branch 10 Legion hall in Nanaimo Saturday. Haire is a runner in the Wounded Warrior Run B.C., raising awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues that affect veterans and first responders. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Wounded Warrior Run raising awareness about PTSD stops in Nanaimo

Fundraiser supports mental health care for first responders and veterans

Supports for issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder were the focal point as the Wounded Warrior Run passed through Nanaimo on Saturday.

The team, consisting of runners and support crew, are making a trek from Port Hardy to Victoria with the aim of raising money and awareness for Wounded Warriors Canada, which provides support for police, paramedics, firefighters, veterans, active military and their families that are dealing with mental health issues, such as PTSD.

Samson Haire, a runner and Victoria Police Department member, said he is happy to take part and supports are needed.

“I just want to raise awareness for PTSD and the injuries that we’re seeing through the work of our veterans, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, call takers, basically everybody on the front line,” said Haire. “I’ve only been a member for around two and a half years with Vic PD, but just in that time, I’ve seen some things for myself and from other younger members and realizing that it adds up pretty quick. Speaking to older members of the department, just knowing that this is an important cause to raise awareness to and things are changing with presumptive legislation for PTSD with first responders and fire and stuff like that, that’s one of the main reasons I want to do this. I also love running.”

RELATED: Wounded Warrior Run B.C. hits the road

The run concludes Sunday, March 3 in Victoria at the B.C. legislature.

The goal for this year is $100,000 and as of Friday, $78,000 had been raised.

– with files from Michael Briones

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