Ride Don’t Hide Fundraiser

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Almost everyone knows somebody that’s been affected by mental health issues.

To ask a rhetorical question, how much progress have we made since the unofficial beginning of modern times after World War II?  

After all, mankind had split the atom and sent men to the moon before the 1970s, created the internet later in the 20th century and would soon make cell phones something that we needed more than wanted.

Yet throughout most of the 20th century, people with mental health issues were being compartmentalized in prisons and mental hospitals.

People with mental health issues were shunned and stigmatized.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.

In any given year, one in five people will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.

Many are still shunned and stigmatized and don’t get the help they need.

These days, only the most extreme cases of mental illness are institutionalized, with many living homeless in urban streets as so-called mental institutions were shut down. CMHA continues to offer support to thousands of others that suffer from mental disorders.

On June 23, CMHA will host its 8th annual Ride Don’t Hide event, the largest mental health bike ride in Canada.

With almost 10,000 riders and hundreds of family members, friends and volunteers across Canada taking part, they’ve been raising more than two million dollars each year for CMHA.

You have an opportunity to ride your bike and join the movement to help erase the stigma of mental health and raise funds.

CMHA reports that two of three with mental health issues do not access help, largely due to stigma.

In an interview, Michael Anhorn, Executive Director of CMHA talked about the upcoming event. “The Ride Don’t Hide is a national fundraiser for mental health. We encourage people to celebrate their mental health. I think often, people think of mental health as mental illness. But like physical health, we all have mental health and there are things we can do to improve our health every single day like getting out and exercising.”

The event was founded in 2010 by Michael Schratter. Anhorn says, “Schratter lives with being bipolar and he is very open about that.

He had a vision of doing a fundraiser called, Ride Don’t Hide, where he would reduce stigma one pedal at a time.

His idea is that we should be out there in public being able and willing to talk about our mental health or mental illness if we have mental illness.

“The Proceeds from it goes towards our programming and most of it goes towards supporting for children and youth to build resilience against mental illness and to support those with mental illness. The earlier (that) people get treatment, especially in childhood, the better future outcomes are as adults.”

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle will help your mental well being.

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