Sechelt woman wins accolades along with 1 Million Shoppers Optimum Points
Vancouver, BC – The Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide LOVE. YOU. Contest celebrates women who make mental health matter in their communities. As the contest winner, Victoria Maxwell has won 1,000,000 Shoppers Optimum points—a value of $1,700.
The points presentation took place Sunday, June 26 at Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide – Greater Vancouver, a charity bike ride in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
The contest invited British Columbians to share their own stories or to nominate women who had inspired them. Of these nominations, five finalists were selected by a panel of Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacist-owners. In the final round, Victoria Maxwell was chosen by popular vote with over 1800 online ballots cast in her favour.
“I feel so supported. The contest wasn’t just a one person effort—it had to be others supporting me. I was just blown away by how many people were cheering me on, and I was blown away by the other finalists,” says Maxwell.
Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide ambassadors and dignitaries, including Olympic cycling hero Gillian Carleton, former Canuck Geoff Courtnall, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, MLA Carol James, Parliamentary Secretary for Child Mental Health and Anti-Bullying Jane Thornthwaite, and Minister of Health Hon. Terry Lake championed their local rides – many bringing their own personal mental health story to the event.
Victoria Maxwell is an actress and playwright with lived experience of bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis. Her critically acclaimed one-woman show Crazy for Life—drawn from her lived experience with mental illness—has toured internationally with runs in Toronto, England and New Zealand. Maxwell is also a public speaker and facilitator, and offers mental health consulting services to employers looking to enhance workplace wellness.
Throughout her career, she has made a point of being open about her experience as a way to push back against the stigma that often surrounds mental illness.
“When I was diagnosed there weren’t a lot of stories about mental illness and recovery,” says Maxwell. “I saw that shame really prevented people from not just reaching out for help, but also from feeling good about who they were.”
“I wanted to share my story because I’ve been really fortunate in the treatment that I’ve gotten and wanted to pass that along to others, to let them know that it’s possible to live well with mental illness.”
The contest is part of the Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide movement in support of mental health. On June 26, more than 7,000 cyclists in 29 communities across Canada joined together to ride for mental health at Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide. Shoppers Drug Mart is the title sponsor for the rides in BC and proud champion for women and girls’ mental health.
To learn more or donate, visit www.ridedonthide.com.
About the Canadian Mental Health Association:
Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a national charity that helps maintain and improve mental health for all Canadians. 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. Visit the CMHA website at www.cmha.ca today.
About Shoppers Drug Mart LOVE. YOU.
Shoppers LOVE.YOU. – Putting Women’s Health First – is dedicated to being part of every woman’s support network through the sponsorship of a full range of national and community initiatives focused on advancing women’s health in body, mind and spirit. More information can be found at www.shoppersloveyou.ca.
For interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Quan, Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
604-688-3234 or firstname.lastname@example.org