Health and wellness

Jessica's journey of empowerment and connection

March 25, 2024

Jessica stands with her arms up in the air celebrating participating in a Run for Women event.

The Shoppers Drug Mart® Run for Women isn't merely a race for Jessica Pickering, Senior Manager of Pharmacy Procurement; it's a unique opportunity for her to build connections, share stories and make an impact.  

The annual event – held in 18 cities across Canada – aims to raise funds and awareness for women’s mental health. As a proud 10-year veteran of the Run, Jessica takes part in multiple races each year. With plans to join the Oakville, Markham, Toronto, and possibly Whitby races for the 2024 season, her commitment to the cause radiates beyond the finish line. She isn't just running; she's advocating for mental health, breaking barriers, and igniting conversations. 

Reflecting on her journey, Jessica's evolution as a runner parallels her growth as an advocate. What began in 2014 as a desire to meet faces behind names, blossomed into a realization of the power of dialogue in mental health advocacy.

"The more I talk about it, the more people close to me may recognize they can open up as well, or may need support,” she says. 

With every stride, Jessica serves as an ally to those with mental health challenges. "I’m not a fast runner, but when I start running, I just keep going and I don't stop," she shares, emphasizing the endurance required in both physical and mental battles. 

Jessica doesn't just run for herself; she runs for the women who haven't found their voices yet. Through fundraising and promotion – both on social media and by word of mouth – she amplifies the impact of the run, extending the reach of vital resources to those in need. Women's College Hospital, a hospital focused on women’s health and the beneficiary of the proceeds from the Toronto event, holds a special place in her heart, recognizing its potential to create change and champion women's well-being. 

Furthermore, as a member of the Shoppers Foundation Colleague Committee, Jessica volunteers her time, along with other SDM corporate colleagues, to organize and promote Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health activities and events, expanding her impact beyond the Run and helping foster health equity for women across the country. 

As Jessica laces up her running shoes for another season, she invites colleagues and store teams to join her on a journey of empowerment, connection, and advocacy for women's mental health. 

Want to show your support and join in? Go to in a new tab) for more information and to sign up. The first event kicks off April 20 in Victoria, B.C., with 17 races to follow in May and June. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis or considering suicide, confidential support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by way of the Canada Suicide Prevention Service (833-456-4566) or the Employee and Family Assistance Program (1-800-743-5949).