More than 2,300 riders in BC took part in Canada’s largest community bike ride for mental health
Vancouver, BC – On Sunday, June 21st, more than 1,200 mental health supporters participated in the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide Greater Vancouver event and helped raise a record breaking $235,000 for mental health in Greater Vancouver.
The event was one of 27 Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide events taking place across Canada, with more than 6,000 riders raising over $1.1 million for mental health. More than 3,100 riders took part in events across BC, raising over $500,000 within the province. Now in its fourth year, the ride is Canada’s largest community bike ride for mental health. Shoppers Drug Mart is the title sponsor for events in BC.
Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide ambassadors and dignitaries including Mayor of Coquitlam Richard Stewart, Craig J. Callens, Deputy Commissioner & Commanding Officer of BC RCMP, and members of the Vancouver Police Department championed the Greater Vancouver ride, showing their dedication and support in the mental health movement.
“The Ride Don’t Hide movement is about opening up the dialogue to foster hope and optimism, and create positive change in the way people view mental health,” says Bev Gutray, Chief Executive Officer of CMHA BC. “It’s so great to see thousands of Canadians taking part in the event to support those they love who are living with mental health issues. We hope the movement will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years.”
The Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide movement began with Michael Schratter, a Canadian teacher living with bipolar disorder who has spent his life educating the public about mental health. In 2010, Michael cycled around the world to share his story, empower others and help break the stigma associated with mental illness, one petal at a time. His incredible journey touched people all over the world, and has become a national movement that is both raising funds and breaking the stigma around mental illness.
“Ride Don’t Hide for me has always been about dispelling the stigma around mental illness and empowering others to come out of the dark,” says Michael Schratter, founder and national ambassador of Ride Don’t Hide. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined Ride Don’t Hide would be what it is today. To see thousands of people come out and ride, and show each other there’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s what Ride Don’t Hide is all about.”
In any given year, one in five Canadians, or approximately seven million people, experience a mental health problem or illness, however, only one third will seek help – often due to discrimination and stigma. The awareness and funds raised by the Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide event will make significant changes to reduce stigma and support mental health programs in the community so that those living with a mental illness can access help. Early intervention is the key to prevention.
CMHA is still accepting donations online at www.ridedonthide.com or through its local branches. Contact 1-800-555-8222 for more information.
About the Canadian Mental Health Association
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is part of one of Canada’s most established national mental health charities. Our vision is mentally healthy people in a healthy society. As the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA helps people access the community resources they need to build resilience and support recovery from mental illness or addiction. Each year, CMHA BC together with a network of 14 BC branches provides services and supports to over 136,000 British Columbians. Local community branches, CMHA Vancouver-Fraser and CMHA North and West Vancouver, have been serving the Metro Vancouver area since 1958. To learn more visit our websites at www.cmha.bc.ca, www.vf.cmha.bc.ca or www.northwestvancouver.cmha.bc.ca .
For interviews with CMHA and local residents with personal mental health stories, please contact:
Leanne MacLeod, 604-516-8080 ext 324, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvonne Chiang, 604-880-5090, email@example.com