FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CMHA’s largest annual fundraiser for mental health goes virtual
The Ride Don’t Hide, Virtually campaign encourages people to ride, walk, run, hike, do yoga, dance, meditate, or take part in any activity that will support mental and physical health
Brampton: May 25, 2020: The Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin’s seventh annual Ride Don’t Hide campaign is going virtual to help raise funds for local mental health programs.
As physical distancing measures continue due to COVID-19, CMHA Peel Dufferin is asking people to participate in its Ride Don’t Hide, Virtually campaign.
The message is we don’t have to ride shoulder to shoulder to stand up together for mental health. Riders – and spinners, walkers, runners, yogis, kitchen dancers, meditators, and every other mental health champion – can find their community and register online to ride, walk or move outside, inside, or in spirit and raise funds to support mental health programs and services. Even though we are apart, no one is alone.
“Ride Don’t Hide has always been about a sense of community,” said CMHA Peel Dufferin CEO David Smith. “This year, it’s more important than ever to remain connected in any way we can to support our mental health.”
The campaign encourages people to ride, walk, run, hike, do yoga, dance, meditate, or take part in any activity that will support mental and physical health while raising funds for mental health programs throughout the month of June.
“Set a goal to ride your stationary or outdoor bike for 20 minutes three times a week or to walk for 15 minutes once a day. I’ll be trying to ride my bike for 3 hours a week in the month of June,” Smith said. To date, this national initiative has raised around $2,000,000 a year coast to coast for mental health services that are primarily underfunded.
In years past, Ride Don’t Hide would see participants meet up and cycle together on event day. This year, the virtual initiative asks people to set their own goals to make a difference for mental health.
Jessica Willow, Community Support Worker, R.S.S.W., at CMHA Peel Dufferin and Ride Don’t Hide, Virtually participant explains, “Ever since I was 10 years old I experienced mental health concerns and when I aged out of youth services I turned to CMHA to provide me help with services on several occasions. I’ve utilized the services of individual brief counsellors, the crisis lines, BounceBack and groups. After interacting with CMHA I dreamed to one day be a part of an organization like it – an organization that cares for each individual and fosters recovery. Thankfully, I was destined to be a part of this amazing organization and I now work for CMHA. Even in my short time at CMHA, I feel like I’m at home here.” Jessica said she is riding this year because she knows how mental health supports can change someone’s life.
Peel Regional Police officer and Ride Don’t Hide, Virtually Committee Chair Gary Carty will be cycling the equivalent of Mount Everest for mental health. He is also sharing practice runs in a Ride Don’t Hide Virtual Facebook Group so people can follow along.
Carty said, “I know what a difference these funds can make around mental health in our community and I’m so thrilled to be able to take part in this kind of initiative.”
Phil Lynn, a member of the CMHA Peel Dufferin Board of Directors, a member of the Ride Don’t Hide, Virtually Committee and a Ride participant said he rides because mental health care needs to be just as accessible as physical health care.
“Mental health is health,” he said. “Five out of five of us have mental health and by joining movements like Ride Don’t Hide, Virtually we can remind everyone that we’re all in this together.”
From now through the end of June participants will set a goal to challenge themselves to ride 100 km throughout the month, walk for 25 km, spin for 500 minutes or do something every day and share on their personal fundraising page.
“Although we cannot ride together this year, it doesn’t mean we ride alone,” Lynn said.
Registration for CMHA Peel Dufferin’s Ride Don’t Hide, Virtually is now open.
About the Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin
Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin Branch offers services to those 16+ experiencing an addictions or mental health crisis, seniors with dementia, those navigating the court systems, people who are homeless or facing imminent homelessness and family and caregivers. www.cmhapeeldufferin.ca
For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:Siobhan Kukolic Communications Officer (416) 521-5387