The Tickle Swim for mental health is a 5km swim across the tickle from Bell Island to Portugal Cove St. Phillips in support of CMHA-NL’s work in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness surrounding mental health issues in our province, and the inherent need for all of society to maintain good mental fitness; as we focus on our physical fitness. Secondly, this event aims to raise funds for the Newfoundland and Labrador Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association to support their work across this province. Swimmers of all abilities are welcome provided they are fit enough to complete the distance.

This is not a race although some friendly competition does occur.

In 2013, the 5km swim was conceived and swam by community activist Sheilagh O’leary. Sheilagh’s vision came from her personal belief in the importance of improving and maintaining good mental health through physical fitness.

During the first year, 7 swimmers crossed the 5km between Portugal Cove and Bell Island. In its second year 10 swimmers were met by a large crown of well-wishers, local MHA Dave Brazil, media, and a reception hosted by the Town of Portugal Cove St. Phillips.

With growing success, the Tickle Swim for Mental Health surpassed its goal and raised over $30,000 in 2016!

For more information, head to, and to register contact CMHA-NL!

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