On Sunday, June 25th hundreds will cycle the Caledon Hills to fight stigma and raise awareness and funds for local mental health programs
Brampton, Ontario – On Sunday, June 25, hundreds of cyclists will take to the Caledon Hills for Ride Don’t Hide, a community bike ride and fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin. Over 300 cyclists and families are expected to tackle 4 picturesque routes in Caledon to raise awareness, fight stigma, and support CMHA Peel Dufferin’s youth mental health and awareness programs.
The is one of 30 Ride Don’t Hide events across Canada that will see ten thousand Canadians from Newfoundland to British Columbia, to pedal towards the ultimate goal of ending the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Spending a day biking and talking about mental health may not seem like a remedy for mental illness, but it might be exactly what Canada needs more of.
The recent 3rd Annual Canadian Mental Health Check-Up by Ipsos Public Affairs found that almost half (48%) of those surveyed reported being more comfortable talking about mental health issues compared to two years ago.
Furthermore, the proportion of Canadians who say they have talked with someone about mental health continues to increase with 42% saying they opened up to someone (most likely a friend, family member or a family doctor) about their mental health in the past year. This is up 7% from last year.
“Events like Ride Don’t Hide, that raise awareness in our community, play an important role in changing the public’s perceptions and in eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness” says CMHA Peel Dufferin CEO David Smith. “This latest Ipsos survey is encouraging as it shows that our work is making a difference in changing people’s behaviours around accessing support.”
“When I rode in Ride Don’t Hide last year I was struggling with mental health issues. I was just starting to use physical activity as a way to fight back,” says Kelly Scanlan, Ride Don’t Hide Ambassador and 2017 Invictus Games Team Canada athlete. “In the last year I’ve been training hard for the Invictus Games, and I have seen a huge improvement in my life. This has led me to want to raise awareness for others who may be struggling or who may know someone who is struggling. This year I am doing the Ride again because it’s a great blend of raising awareness and using physical activity to help promote recovery.”
“Stigma is one of the major factors impeding people from seeking help. The awareness and funds raised during an event like Ride Don’t Hide will help with educating others and helping to eliminate stigma as a barrier to recovery,” adds Scanlan.
“I’m supporting Ride Don’t Hide to move forward and get stronger as part of my recovery. I also want to support others; if some of what I have learned from what I have gone through can help another person get through their tough times then it’s all worth it,” says Ride Don’t Hide Ambassador Alana Ziobroski. “To look around at the Ride and realize, that so many others who are riding have their own connection to the cause, gives me hope that one day we will eliminate the stigma around mental illness.”
Ride Don’t Hide is open to cyclists of all ages and skill levels. Registration is $55 for adults and youth and free for virtual riders and children 12 and under. The 20 km Family Ride is traffic-free, utilizing part of the Trans Canada Trail System, with 5 km and 10 km mini-rides for families wanting a shorter distance. The popular road Rides include 25 km, 50 km and 100 km routes that will challenge experienced cyclists and cycling enthusiasts.
Proceeds from the Ride support CMHA Peel Dufferin youth mental health and awareness programs like Youth Net (our in-school youth mental health program), as well as our public awareness, suicide prevention and education programs.
For more information visit www.ridedonthide.com and click on Peel Dufferin-Caledon Hills to register and join the movement.