Thank you for Riding with us, Canada!
On Sunday June 24, 2018, more than 7,750 Canadians in 31 communities across the country cycled in the 7th annual Ride Don’t Hide event, raising an estimated $1,830,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
The largest mental health bike ride in Canada, 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.
“When I’m not mentally healthy, I’m not really living,” says Neil Paterson, a three-year returning rider from Victoria, BC, who created a team of over 100 strong to celebrate CMHA’s 100 years of service. “I’m 56, but I’ve only lived about 45 of those years. Ride Don’t Hide has given me a place to try and pull a positive out of my own patchy mental health.”
Ride Don’t Hide started in 2010 after Michael Schratter, a Vancouver teacher who had experienced stigma while living with bipolar disorder, embarked on a 40,000 km ride around the globe for mental health.
“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 7 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.”
Seven years later, 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.
Canadians can still donate to this year’s Ride Don’t Hide until July 31, 2018. They can do so in person at their local CMHA branch or region, or by visiting www.ridedonthide.com.
Ride Don’t Hide returns next year on June 23rd, 2019. Follow @CMHANational on Facebook for more information about the event.
Your support makes the difference in so many lives across Canada. The funds raised will benefit those in your community by supporting essential mental health programs. Programs that change lives. Programs that save lives.
Share your ride.
Share your stories, photos and videos of the day by tagging us:
@cmhanational and #ridedonthide #cmha100
Ride and Win!
Have you checked out the fundraising prizes? You can find them here. Raise funds until July 31, 2018 to qualify. Winners will be announced August 20, 2018.
Help people in your community get the best possible care and support in their recovery from mental illness. Ride Don’t Hide raises awareness and funds that make a significant impact in your community.
Who is affected?
How common is it?
The Ride Don't Hide movement began in 2010 as Michael Schratter, a Vancouver teacher and newspaper columnist, embarked on a global journey to cycle 40,000 kilometers, crossing six continents and 33 countries to raise funds for CMHA BC Division. Michael’s 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.
To continue Michael’s legacy, CMHA adopted Ride Don’t Hide as their leading anti-mental illness stigma campaign. Lead by CMHA BC Division, the Ride Don’t Hide Community Bike movement began. In 2012, the CMHA Vancouver Community Bike Ride partnered with Ride Don’t Hide. The combined event was a partnership between CMHA Vancouver-Burnaby, North & West Vancouver branches, and BC Division. The Lower Mainland Ride Don’t Hide Community Bike Ride raised $75,000 and engaged 500 participants. In 100 Mile House, CMHA South Cariboo branch held its first Ride Don’t Hide event that engaged over 60 participants and raised over $10,000 for mental health programs and services.
Learn more about the history of Ride Don’t Hide.
Now with 31 communities across 7 provinces and over 7,000 participants annually, Ride Don’t Hide has generated nearly $6 million towards mental health programs and services in communities across Canada.
Volunteers play a vital part in the success of the Ride Don’t Hide event. Our volunteers are passionate and diverse individuals committed to shattering the stigma surrounding mental illness. They may be battling a mental illness themselves or know of someone who has been impacted from mental health illness, stigma and want to make a change. The time they contribute to the Ride Don’t Hide event will differ from role to role. We recruit for various roles throughout the year, including:
Volunteering is not only a great way to make a difference, it’s a chance to change lives so contact your local CMHA branch today to learn more about the volunteer opportunities at your local Ride Don’t Hide event.
If you would like to participate in Ride Don’t Hide but there are no local rides hosted in your community, then the “Ride Don’t Hide Anywhere” is perfect for you!
Ride Don’t Hide Anywhere allows teams the opportunity to register as a virtual rider, raise funds and ride for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Join the Movement and together we can, break the stigma.
How it works
Register a team with three or more friends. Please make sure to include your community name in your team name ie. The Free Wheelers – Prince Rupert.*
Download our Ride Don’t Hide Anywhere Toolkit for inspiration.
It is up to you and your team to design a route that is suitable for your ability*.
If you have questions, or would like to host a larger Ride Don’t Hide Anywhere event, please contact email@example.com.
*The Canadian Mental Health Association is not liable for any accidents that may occur while you are riding.
CMHA has been fortunate to partner with many schools who have hosted a Ride Don’t Hide event for their students.
The event helps bring awareness to youth about mental health and the stigma surrounding mental illness.
To assist schools in building a successful event, a toolkit has been designed. To download the toolkit, click here.
The School Ride Don’t Hide Toolkit includes:
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a strong community presence in hundreds of neighbourhoods across every province, CMHA provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.
So many people face mental illness or addiction. Stigma should not stop us from talking about it or seeking help for it.