Looking for a family-friendly activity this Sunday? Interested in something that involves some exercise, a BBQ, and also supports a good cause?
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), provincially sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart, is proud to present their signature, national Ride Don’t Hide event on June 21. This is Canada’s largest mental health fundraiser, and over 1,500 riders are expected to participate.
Each year, over seven million Canadians struggle with a mental health problem. Over two-thirds of those suffering will not seek help. The Ride Don’t Hide event seeks to promote awareness of mental health issues, reduce the stigma and support local treatment programs.
Isn’t this event for serious cyclists?
Don’t worry, it’s not a race.
Although there is a 60K course, there is also a 10K and 20K route of scenic street rides throughout the Metro Vancouver area. There will be volunteers throughout each course, cheering on riders and available to answer questions that any participants might have.
This ride is open to cyclists of all ages and skill levels. It’s okay if your bike hasn’t been ridden for several years (just make sure to check that tire pressure before Sunday).
What’s the story behind this event?
Michael Schratter, a Canadian teacher living with bipolar disorder, started the Ride Don’t Hide movement. He began by teaching Canadians about mental health, and in 2010 decided to cycle around the world to raise awareness and shatter the stigma of mental illness.
The Ride Don’t Hide event has now extended to four provinces and over 30 communities, raising over one million dollars since its inception.
The financial support raised by this event goes towards local mental health treatment programs, as well as prevention programs such as “Living Life to the Full.”
I’d like to be involved, but you won’t get me on a bike
Volunteer coordinator Erica Whalen is looking for more volunteers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604-872-4902 (ext 241).
“Over 200 volunteers make Ride Don’t Hide Greater Vancouver possible,” Whalen said. “They make the ride safe and fun, and also help in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness by broadening awareness and encouraging understanding.”
You can also support the cause financially by donating at ridedonthide.com.
Ride Don’t Hide Vancouver 2015
When: Sunday, June 21
Time: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (9:30 a.m. start time for shorter routes)
Where: Swangard Stadium – 3883 Imperial Street, Burnaby
Routes: 10 km, 20 km or 60 km (all scenic street rides throughout the Greater Vancouver area)
Registration & Route Details: Visit the website at ridedonthide.com
After you (and your family) have finished your ride, you are invited to stay at Swangard Stadium for food and music. Starting at 10:30 a.m., there will be a BBQ and children’s activities. At 11:30 a.m., awards and prizes will be handed out.
The Canadian Mental Health Association is a national non-profit group dedicated to championing mental health in Canada. Their vision is, “mentally healthy people in a healthy society.” They are dedicated to supporting resilience and recovery for those living with mental illness and their families. They promote mental health for all throughout advocacy, education, community-based research and services.
If you are looking for some simple steps to invest in your mental health, check out Secondhand Therapy’s free 30 page eBook, “Start Investing in Your Emotional Wellbeing: 25 Practical Tips to Move Beyond Survival Mode.”