Generation Gap Begone at “Ride Don’t Hide”

For Lynn Spence, participating in the 2013 Ride Don’t Hide event meant challenging herself to end a 10-year hiatus from cycling and connecting with her family for a great cause. She is interviewed by CMHA blogger, Cynthia Luo, about her experiences and hopes to inspire this years’ participants to attend the event with their family members on June 22, 2014. by Cynthia Luo Meet Lynn Spence. As former Associate Executive Director for the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA), Lynn was naturally a strong supporter of CMHA causes including Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide to support mental health […]

How Extraordinary: Changing the way Canadians view mental health

By Michael Schratter How extraordinary. How extraordinary the changes we see in the way Canadians are looking at mental illness. But it wasn’t always so… Back in 2010 when I left to cycle the globe for Ride Don’t Hide, the stigma that so often surrounded mental illness seemed entrenched and dauntingly strong. So much so that the hardest part of my journey wasn’t the 40,000 km cycled or the cultural differences of the 33 countries travelled, or the loneliness of being on the road for some 16 months. No, the hardest part for me to get Ride Don’t Hide up […]

Whitecap Fans #BuckUp for Mental Health: My Experience as a CMHA Volunteer

by Cynthia Luo Volunteering with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) at the Whitecaps’ 40th anniversary game was like riding a bike: healthy, fun and rewarding! A “moving” experience On Saturday, May 3, Vancouver Whitecaps asked each of their 41,000 fans to #BuckUp for Mental Health by donating at least one dollar at their 40th Anniversary Match against San Jose Earthquakes. As one of the 37 CMHA volunteers at this event, my fellow volunteers and I got the chance to wear a 1970s outfit with a Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide t-shirt and walk around BC Place Stadium asking […]

#BuckUp for Mental Health before May 17th to help support Ride Don’t Hide

Have you ever wished that you could meet your favorite Whitecaps player, or that you and your friends could watch a game in style from a Premium Suite at BC Place? There’s still time to participate in the Whitecaps #BuckUp for Mental Health campaign to win these and other amazing prizes. Plus, you’ll help support Ride Don’t Hide in the process! In honour of their 40th anniversary, the Whitecaps have set of goal of raising $15,000 to be shared between the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the Kettle Society – Clara’s Big Ride Vancouver Community Champions. The CMHA will […]

Talking About Mental Health: A teacher’s perspective

By Sara Raouf As an elementary school teacher I see students and families struggling with mental health issues every year. I see students dealing with anxiety, depression, attachment disorders, eating disorders and other mental health issues. I work with families who are trying to support their children while dealing with mental health issues of their own. I also work with teachers and other staff members who are struggling to cope with the increasing challenges that they face year after year in the classroom. Upon returning to work from maternity leave a couple of years ago, I realized that we needed […]

Ride Don’t Hide launches across Canada

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) kicked off the campaign for Ride Don’t Hide today with celebrations across Canada, and a call to cyclists to join the movement that’s sweeping the nation. On June 22, 4,500 cyclists and over a dozen schools in 20 communities across Canada will join the third annual Ride Don’t Hide community bike ride in celebration and support of mental health. The Ride Don’t Hide movement began with Michael Schratter, a Vancouver school teacher living with bipolar disorder, who cycled 40,000 km around the globe, inspired millions and raised $100,000 for CMHA. The growing national movement […]

The Start of My Ride Don’t Hide Global Journey – The Doubts and Fears

By Michael Schratter I am not a man that follows any sort of superstitious belief, or ideas that life unfolds due to fate or predetermined plans. That said there was an incident at the beginning of my bicycle travels around the world for Ride Don’t Hide that was so serendipitous, that forever it will make me wonder… I left, August 1, 2010, to begin my journey, but what became very obvious to me within days of cycling south out of Vancouver is that in all of the logistical campaign planning leading up to my departure I had allowed my physical […]

Why Do I Ride? Because, In My Family, Mental Illness Runs…err…Rides Deep and Wide

by Victoria Maxwell My name is Victoria Maxwell. I’m so excited to be part of the Shopper’s Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide Campaign supporting women’s mental health. Why? For very personal reasons: I was diagnosed with mental illness years ago; so was my mother; so was my cousin; so were two other cousins. All women. I have grandfathers, aunts and uncles who were never diagnosed but lived with a psychiatric condition. Mental illness runs deep and wide in my family. When my mom was diagnosed in the 70’s, bipolar disorder (or manic depression as it was known as then) had […]

I Rode the World to De-stigmatize Mental Illness—Part 2

By Michael Schratter The second motivator for Ride Don’t Hide was the idea that the only way to fight ignorance was through education and creating awareness. As a teacher and part-time journalist who believed in the power of story telling, I had an obligation to try and tell a different story of what mental illness was really about. Over the course of the global cycling campaign, I was given an opportunity to write roughly thirty bi-weekly mental health awareness columns for Vancouver 24H. The idea was that the articles in a well-read paper would help to start a much needed […]

I Rode the World to De-stigmatize Mental Illness—Part 1

By Michael Schratter People have often asked me as to what was the motivation behind Ride Don’t Hide? Why the bicycle and why the global ride? And why for this particular cause which is the de-stigmatization of mental illness? The easy answers to the question are, as mentioned in my previous blog post, that I have bipolar and secondly that I love to cycle. The rest of the answer is a bit more complex… I grew up in BC during the 1980s. And during that decade, two extraordinary men from beautiful BC changed my life forever: Terry Fox and Rick […]