Myles first joined Ride Don’t Hide in 2014 and explains that there were two significant reasons why he wanted to get involved and support people with mental health challenges.
Myles had a friend that went through a tough time with Mental Illness, and he wanted to help but didn’t know how. The struggle and uncertainty surrounding this experience left a lasting impression on Myles, “I knew he had to help.” The second reason started in 2011 with the suicide of former Canucks hockey forward Rick Rypien. In 2013, Myles read an article published in the Province News Paper, where Kevin Bieksa told a story about his best friend Rick Rypien and how his journey was cut short. In memory of Rypien, Kevin Bieska wanted to carry on Rypien’s legacy by raising awareness for mental health and Kevin shared this story because Rick never had the chance to do so. The story was very moving for Myles because he felt as though he were in a similar situation with a friend. Myles still looks up to Kevin Bieska for what he did for Rick Rypien, and it inspired him to join the cause and do as much as he could so individuals don’t have to suffer in silence and know that there are resources and support systems that can help.
“Ride Don’t Hide is a great opportunity to get out and support your community and those who are in need” Myles explains. He has been involved with many Mental Health Initiatives like Ride Don’t Hide, but his first major Involvement with CMHA was the promotional Video and launch of “Talk Today”, a mental health program designed to help athletes and their supporters learn about mental health and to help support those who may be struggling or at risk of suicide.
There are many great moments and memories for Myles during his many years with Ride Don’t HIde, but one stands out above the rest. During the 2014 event in Prince George, Myles was awarded a $400 Bike from Cycle World, for being the top fundraiser. However, he knew of a young man whom recently lost his mother to mental Illness and became withdrawn and his education was suffering. Myles admits he would have liked a new bike, but decided the young man could use it more, so Myles gave the young man the bike. Cycle world was so overwhelmed with his generosity, they turned around and nearly doubled the value of the bike – letting the boy choose a bike worth over $700. “I heard back from the Family, and the boy rode this bike every day with pride, became extremely fit, and his school grades improved dramatically.”
As an Advocate of Mental health, Myles explains that the impact has been very positive. The personal fulfillment he feels after helping others is very rewarding, and he looks forward to ending the Stigma every day. Mental Health is essential to us all “because so many suffer and it’s directly or indirectly related to so much in our everyday lives. There is a fair amount of stigma associated with mental health, however, if we talk openly about it and let others know that it’s nothing to be ashamed of it will inspire others to speak openly and freely about it.” A big statement Myles has used over the years is “you’re not alone,” and he could name multiple people who have shared their story when they feel they can relate to one another with a mental illness.
This is why Myles rides, why will you ride?