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Scaling New Heights for Mental Wellness

Reflections from our C4MW campaign


The #YOLO2020 Hike to Everest Base Camp was launched on 28 Nov 2018 with the hope to raise awareness and funds for CAL and their community of mental health caregivers. Since December 2019, CAL’s #YOLO2020 Team CAL has been training in earnest to trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) by hiking to Bukit Timah and organizing mini vertical marathons for themselves at HDB blocks. And then, COVID-19 struck…

The Climb for Mental Wellness (C4MW) campaign was inspired by #YOLO2020 Hike to Everest Base Camp and it gave fresh impetus to the #YOLO2020 Team CAL members to spur each other on to continue to build their fitness each week despite the restrictions from COVID-19.

It takes about 85,301 steps to cover the 65km stretch to reach Everest Base Camp. Leading from the front, #YOLO2020 Team CAL clocked an incredible 3,887,618 steps through the six weeks of the campaign keeping the C4MW torch burning bright! The 8-member #YOLO2020 Team CAL was joined by 1948 participants and collectively contributed a total of 227.8 million steps in 6 weeks. #YOLO2020 Team CAL members were encouraged to know there were many who would walk the distance with them.

During the C4MW, #YOLO2020 Team CAL conducted three Zoom sessions to engage with caregivers and their loved ones as well as C4MW participants. The team received positive feedback and many left the sessions on an enjoyable and uplifting note. Many of the #YOLO2020 Team CAL members are caregivers to loved ones with mental health conditions and they know that the caregiving journey is much akin to scaling a mountain. The enthusiastic participation in the ZOOM sessions was an affirmation that caregivers are not alone. The C4MW campaign has raised better awareness of mental health and the world of caregiving. Seeing the support of many others (especially non-caregivers) who are climbing in solidarity with them, caregivers can look ahead and press on to overcome some of the most difficult challenges and summit to a new high in life!

Though the COVID-19 situation had cast some uncertainty about #YOLO2020 Team CAL’s travel to climb EBC in the first half of 2021, they remained committed to preparing themselves for the actual climb when travel restrictions are lifted. Their aspiration is to hoist the CAL flag at EBC and keep it flying high in honour of the courage and resilience shown by the many caregivers of CAL who have journeyed with hope towards a better tomorrow.


Distance was no barrier for "Team Around the World”, formed in the last week of the campaign. It was coordinated by CAL staff Nandita Nalawala. Whilst Singapore was well into their Phase 2 reopening at the of the C4MW campaign in June, most of these countries were still under near or total lockdown hence not allowing residents to move around freely and clock their steps!

Nandita made a personal appeal to a select list of her friends around the world - from the UK, USA, Australia, India and Dubai! She extended a personal invitation to each of her friends to be “A Mental Health Champion” in their respective community. Her friends have since, become more aware of the impact on mental health during the pandemic across varied conditions such as insecurity from job losses, restrictive personal freedom and fear and anxiety related mental stress and their implications on mental well-being.

The participants rose to the call when Nandita appealed to them requesting their support and contributions to this meaningful cause. They responded to the timeliness of the message and participated from their respective countries contributing 2,000,000 steps within a week! As the campaign drew to an end, the participants have expressed their desire to continue their engagement to the cause of promoting mental well-being.

The enthusiastic participation validates the fact that it’s never too late to act and raise awareness for the cause of mental health in your own individual communities and circles of influence.


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