“Mental illness touches all of us in some way. Families are often faced with loved ones who suffer with a mental illness, and they’re not sure where to turn. That is why I encourage British Columbians to learn about and support the Canadian Mental Health Association’s campaign ‘Ride Don’t Hide,’ because nobody should be ashamed or stigmatized for an issue that affects so many of us. It’s time mental illness was brought out of the shadows and into the light. On Sunday, June 21, join a ‘Ride Don’t Hide’ cycle event in your community, and help raise funds and awareness for those close to your heart.”
“In any given year, one in five Canadians, or approximately seven million Canadians, experience a mental health problem or illness, but only one third will seek help.
My daughter Vanessa was diagnosed with a mental illness three years ago. Navigating the system to find help for her and our family was challenging, and made more difficult by the silence and shame.
It is time for all British Columbians to speak out and to ask that the early identification, treatment and care systems for people with a mental illness are the same as those who are treated for physical illnesses.
It’s time to stop hiding. Let’s end the stigma. Join me in supporting the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ride Don’t Hide on June 21 at Swanguard Stadium in Vancouver.”
“My name is Vanessa Stewart. I started talking about my mental illness at the 2013 Ride Don’t Hide bicycle event. It was one of the rare times I had left the house to go anywhere that year, let alone to a mental health event. I hadn’t spoken to anyone about my mental illness and was having trouble doing activities I once loved due to the onset of depression.
The ride was exhilarating. And shortly after we returned from the ride to the stadium, a reporter approached my dad. The reporter asked him what the event meant to him and his community. As dad started to answer, I stepped out from behind him to speak: ‘He’s here because of me…I suffer from a mental illness.’ No one moved. No one said a word. I started to tell the reporter about my journey, and then dad asked me, ‘Are you really ready for this, Vanessa?’, and I replied, ‘Yes…yes, I am.’
Help more people get ready to speak out and get loud about mental health. Join us for Ride Don’t Hide on June 21 at Swanguard Stadium in Vancouver.”
“I’m thrilled to lend my support to Ride Don’t Hide. This important community event highlights the chronic issue of mental illness and mental wellness as a community issue, something that affects us all.”
“Far too often, those dealing with mental health challenges face stigma and fear in coming forward, and struggle to find the supports they need. Raising awareness through events like Ride Don’t Hide is essential in ending that stigma, and building strong, compassionate communities for all. We can all be touched by mental illness and mental health challenges, and we all have a responsibility to do our part to end the stigma and to speak out for positive change!”
“Michael again is leading the charge to make awareness of mental illness a priority for Canadians. While great strides have been made in removing the stigma attached to mental illness, much more can be done. Ride Don’t Hide is an important component of making this a reality.”