Guelph man hiking Bruce Trail for men’s mental health awareness

A man from Guelph is hiking the Bruce Trail in hopes of raising funds and awareness for men’s mental health issues.

Dom Marini is taking the first step in his 900 km journey on Monday starting in Tobermory and ending in Queenston Heights.

He says that going for a walk has always had a calming effect for him and leaned on it during the pandemic to focus on his pandemic.

“You just kind of get after it and you feel better,” said Marini. “It doesn’t solve your problems, but it can at least kind of put a little bit of water on that fire and put you in a place where you can solve problems that do come ahead.”

The 30-day trip is also a way from him to celebrate completing his engineering diploma.

His friends suggested taking the walk as an opportunity to support men’s mental health, a cause close to his heart, with proceeds going to the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation.

“It’s $10 per kilometre walked, so that’s 900 kilometres times ten, $9,000 for men’s mental health,” said Marini.

According to the foundation, over the course of the pandemic, 17 per cent of Canadian men said they feel more anxious, 31 per cent said they were drinking more alcohol than usual, 18 per cent said they were experiencing loneliness at least three days every week, and 18 per cent reported feeling more depressed.

“Everybody is going through somebody,” said Marini. “Just because they’re not vocalizing doesn’t mean they’re not.”

This will be the longest trip the Guelph resident has every taken, and has been training since April with a weighted backpack.

“There’s been a lot going on so now it’s just time to really put some action in,” said Marini. “I can’t think of anything better than to spend 30 days out in our beautiful province.”

Marini will be sharing his journey on his Instagram and is accepting donations through his GoFundMe page.