The annual Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide event is coming up on Father’s Day this Sunday and will be celebrated with a ride down the Williams Lake River Valley Trail between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“The ride in Williams Lake ranges from a five kilometre family/beginner ride, a 10 kilometre intermediate ride, and a 20 kilometre ride route,” says event organizer Ashlee Hyde. ‘The ride is open to cyclists of all ages and skill levels.”
She says registration and donations can be made online at www.ridedonthide.com.
Ride Don’t Hide is an annual event sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association and Shoppers Drug Mart to raise awareness, reduce stigma around mental illness, show support for people with mental illness and ultimately take action to improve mental health services.
The Ride Don’t Hide movement began in 2010 with Michael Schratter, a Canadian teacher living with bipolar disorder who spent almost a year and a half cycling around the world armed with only his bike and knapsack. His dream of empowering those experiencing mental illness touched people all over the world, and his journey has become a national movement that is both raising funds and breaking the stigma around mental illness.
“I’ve never dreamed that my solo journey around the world would make such an impact on Canadians, which is so inspiring to see,” said Schratter in his press release. “Ride Don’t Hide is a way to engage conversations and breakdown misconceptions. Help us end the stigma around mental illness. Take part in Ride Don’t Hide.”
This year Hyde says CMHA aims to engage more than 6,000 participants in 28 cities across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario and raise $1 million for mental health. In any given year, one in five Canadians experience a mental health problem or illness, the CMHA report says.
CMHA Executive Director Ian McLaughlin says, “Reducing discrimination and stigma is paramount, so that people with mental health issues can be better supported in managing or recovering from their illness. We’re encouraging everyone to take part in our Ride Don’t Hide event on June 21 to support those living with mental illness.”
Cyclists of all ages are invited to sign up at www.ridedonthide.com to ride with their friends, families, coworkers and communities to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental illness.