‘Half-stache September’: Humboldt bus crash survivor creates unique mental health fundraiser – Calgary


Tyler Smith has had a mustache for quite some time, and he’s grown quite fond of it. But someone who isn’t entirely sold on facial hair is his friend Dee Bremner.

The two met at Fox Hollow, a golf course where Tyler had just started working when Dee joined the women’s league.

The two quickly became friends, but there was one thing Dee couldn’t let go of.

“I used to bug (him) about his mustache over the summer months,” Dee said. “(I told him) ‘You need to shave it off Tyler, you’d be so cute without it.'”

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So Dee offered Tyler $50 to take down half of his courage.

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“It started as a gamble. I didn’t think Tyler would do that,” Dee said.

But she soon learned about Tyler’s past as a survivor of the Humboldt bus accident and his commitment to helping youth deal with mental health issues.

“As much as I’m going to hate seeing my mustache go away, it’s for a very good cause,” Tyler said of the fundraiser. “Mental health is a very difficult and uncomfortable area for a lot of people, so if we can somehow make it fun.”

With the help of his workplace, Tyler decided to turn Dee’s courage into a good deed for an organization he said is close to his heart, Jack.org, which focuses on youth mental health across Canada.


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Health Matters: Humboldt Bronco crash survivor shares mental health advice


Health Matters: Humboldt Bronco crash survivor offers mental health advice – November 17, 2020
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After suffering from his own mental health issues following the tragic accident, Tyler said he wanted to use this fundraiser to raise awareness and help others who are suffering.

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“It took a while and there were many, many weeks and months where I suffered in silence and put that mask on,” he said.

“I think being able to help people remember that it’s okay — it’s okay to just take it one day at a time and remember that sometimes you feel alone, but you do is truly never alone in his struggle.”

As a mental health therapist, Dee is also a big advocate for the cause.

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“It is so important. In my mind, mental health and physical health are one and the same — they’re both connected,” Dee said.

“We cannot follow the medical model where we only look at physical health. We need to look at mental health and we really need to keep making advances in society to understand this connection and the importance of both.”

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Even though Tyler’s face feels bare after the half-shave, he and Dee believe the money raised will help create an empowering conversation and change for so many others.

To date, the fundraiser has raised more than $3,000. To donate or learn more about the initiative, click here.

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