Ride Don’t Hide Makes Strides in the Fight Against Stigma
Brampton (ON) – On Sunday, more than 300 riders cycled in the 5th annual Ride Don’t Hide event, raising $67,608 and counting for the Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin.
His Worship Allan Thompson, Mayor of the Town of Caledon kicked off the event at the Lloyd Wilson Centennial Arena on June 24, 2018. As well as, ambassadors Morris Bellus and Amie Krasnozon sharing inspiring stories about their personal experience with mental illness.
Ride Don’t Hide is the largest mental health bike ride in Canada, taking place in 31 communities across the country, Ride Don’t Hide raises much-needed funds for a variety of community mental health programs and services, and helps to eliminate the stigma of mental illness by inviting participants to “ride in plain sight.”
“Accepting, understanding and talking about mental illness can help alleviate the pain of stigma and stereotypes,” says Dr. Patrick Smith, national CEO, CMHA. “In order to thrive in life, we all need to feel hope, build resilience and a strong sense of connection and belonging, which the community spirit around Ride Don’t Hide really fosters. Thank you for your incredible support.”
The annual ride creates a safe, open community where individuals can talk about their mental health free of judgment.
“I am proud to be part of the collaboration with CHMA Staff, Committee, and our incredible pool of volunteers. I am personally proud of the support and encouragement the Ride Don’t Hide provides. Humanizing and normalizing the existence of mental health issues can only help to open positive pathways for those suffering and their loved ones to cope, heal, and move their lives forward in a positive direction. When mental health issues affect one of us they affect all of us. It is a global issue; global issues need global support” Karyn Carty, Ride Don’t Hide committee member and Peel police officer.
Funds raised through Ride Don’t Hide supports vital programs such as Youth Net, Client Wellness and Mental Health & Literacy that help youth and adults recover. It improves public awareness, helps to reduce stigma and ensures that people get the care and treatment they need, when they need it.
“It occurred to me that, if approximately twenty per cent—or one in five—Canadians experienced a mental health issue in a given year, then where are those seven million Canadians?” asked Schratter. “Stigma stops when we, the twenty per cent, reveal ourselves… mental illness is so common and so varied, it is nothing but an integral part of what it is to be human.”
Many high-profile Canadians are cycling or speaking up about mental illness as Ride Don’t Hide ambassadors, including Olympic rower Silken Laumann, indie rock band the Elwins, Olympic hurdler Noelle Montcalm and 23-year-old Ryan Martin, cycling across Canada, and chronicling his experience online at www.mindcycle.ca and on Instagram @mindcycle_canada.
“It’s not easy to talk about your struggles—it’s nerve racking, it’s the ultimate vulnerability, but it’s also the most liberating and empowering thing you can do. Once you start opening up, you are slowly releasing the built-up pressure inside of you. Less pressure equals less suffering,” says Martin.
We’d like to recognize the generosity of our sponsors for their support including:
- National Sponsors: Rocky Mountain, Scimitar and Clif Bar
- Advocate Sponsors: Facility Plus,Bernardi Human Resource Law, Jeff Rice Family Foundation and RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities.
- Ambassador Sponsors: Fidelity Investments, Raleigh and CI Investments
- Community Sponsors: Manulife Financial, RotoPrecision, RBC Global Management, Dynamic Funds, Mackenzie Investments
Special thanks to our community partners:
- The Caledon Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police and Peel Regional Police
- Higher Ground Cage – for hosting our water station & providing bottled water
- The Water Depot (Bolton) for keeping everyone hydrated
- Mississauga Steelheads – who helped make the day extra special for cyclists and volunteers
We also thank the following community supporters for their donations and support, which helped ensure the Ride Don’t Hide was a success: Express Auto (Caledon East), Lifestyle Promotions, Mississauga Marathon, St. John’s Ambulance, the Region of Peel and the Town of Caledon, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Ripley’s Aquarium, CNE and Mary Kay Cosmestics.
Canadians can still donate to this year’s Ride Don’t Hide until July 31, 2018. They can do so in person or by visiting ridedonthide.com/on/ride/peel-dufferin/
Ride Don’t Hide returns next year on June 23rd, 2019. Follow @RideDontHidePeelDufferin on Facebook for more information about the event.