05/10/2015 01:23 EDT | Updated 05/10/2016 05:59 EDT

Paulie O'Byrne Stickhandling Across Canada For Mental Illness Awareness With '1 In 5'

VANCOUVER - A 30-year-old Ontario man has embarked on a cross-country campaign to raise money and awareness of mental illness in Canada.

Paulie O'Byrne left Victoria, B.C. on Saturday to start his campaign that will see him attempt to stickhandle with a ball and a hockey stick from coast to coast.

The London, Ont., man is raising funds for the not-for-profit organization "I'm 1in5," which is dedicated to the one in five Canadians affected by addiction, mental illness, trauma and victimization.

O'Byrne played competitive hockey for 14 years but suffered from clinical depression, anxiety, drug addiction, suicide attempts and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Supporters can also track O'Byrne's progress online via the I'm 1in5 website.

Officials expect the journey will end near the end of October in St. John's, N.L.


Also on HuffPost

Worst Habits For Mental Health