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Kelowna  

Ride Don't Hide supports mental health

On June 23, cyclists in 13 communities in BC will come together to “Ride Don’t Hide” and support better mental health for women and families thanks to the courage and inspiration of Michael Schratter, a Vancouver school teacher and newspaper columnist who grew up here in the Okanagan. Schratter lives with bipolar disorder.

Ride Don’t Hide began on August 1, 2010, as Schratter embarked on a global journey to cycle 40,000 km, crossing six continents and 33 countries and raising funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). His mission was to circumnavigate the world, sharing stories with people in different countries, and in doing so to bring attention and awareness to the stigma surrounding mental illness. People were invited to share their stories and make a promise to help end mental illness stigma on his website, where Michael shared photos, stories and reflections from the road.

The 2010-11 Ride Don’t Hide campaign reached millions of people and raised $100,000 for CMHA’s child and youth mental health programs. As a dedicated ambassador of mental health promotion, Michael continues to speak to schools and the public about mental illness to eliminate the stigma associated with it.

In 2012, the Ride Don’t Hide community bike rides were held in the Lower Mainland and 100 Mile House, engaging over 500 participants and raising over $85,000 for CMHA. This year, with Shoppers Drug Mart as its title sponsor, CMHA aims to engage thousands of participants across the province and raise $400,000 for mental health programs benefiting women and their families.

“Our goal is to help give every woman the opportunity to be wholly healthy, which is why we are focusing our efforts on three key pillars of women’s health: body, mind, and spirit,” says Lisa Gibbs of Shoppers Drug Mart. “‘Ride Don’t Hide’ is an ideal way to promote the mental and physical health of all women and their families and Shoppers Drug Mart Associate-owners and their staff are proud to be a part of this initiative.”

“CMHA serves over 80,000 British Columbians each year. More than 70% of the people we serve are women and girls,” says Bev Gutray, CEO of CMHA BC Division. “Shoppers Drug Mart ‘Ride Don’t Hide’ is so important because it raises the profile of mental health for women and their families, allowing them to enhance their mental and physical health by coming out to the ride.”

Funds from ‘Ride Don’t Hide’ Kelowna will go to some of the many mental health initiatives benefitting women and families here in our community through the Kelowna Branch of the CMHA.

See www.ridedonthide.com to learn more and sign up for Kelowna’s community ride. There is a 7km ride suitable for families and riders of all abilities, and a more challenging 40km ride. Kids under 14 years of age ride free.  Following the ride, cyclists will be able to enjoy a breakfast burrito from the Bike Shop Café, and fun activities for children thanks to Tutt Street Optometry, including face painting, a bouncy castle and free sunglasses for children under 5.

The Shoppers Drug Mart “Ride Don’t Hide” is a community bike ride hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), with the goal of ending the stigma around mental illness and strengthening and supporting the mental health of women and their families. It began with Okanagan-born Michael Schratter’s first Ride Don’t Hide 40,000 k. around the globe in 2010. This year, with Shoppers Drug Mart as its title sponsor, CMHA BC aims to engage thousands of participants and raise $400,000 for mental health programs benefiting women and their families.

A provincial charity and community leader celebrating 60 years, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness; substance use and addictive behaviour are within the scope of the organization. CMHA does this through building capacity, influencing policy, developing resources and providing services. CMHA is part of one of Canada’s oldest charitable organizations, working towards a shared vision: mentally healthy people in a healthy society. CMHA shares a national vision of mentally healthy people in a healthy society. Learn more at www.cmhakelowna.org.
 

 



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