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 […]

What kind of person would bicycle around the world telling everyone he is crazy? A crazy person, of course

By Michael Schratter My name is Michael Schratter and I am bipolar. I also happen to be a Canadian Jew, a teacher, a part-time journalist, a husband, a brother, and a son. But for me it is the label of mental illness that carries the most weight on my shoulders. In my opinion, there is no other human affliction still so misunderstood, feared, and ultimately stigmatized. And it is this stigma, along with the prejudice so often encountered by those that have dealt with or are dealing with a mental health challenge that is perhaps the greatest issue when it […]