The city of Sault Ste. Marie is gearing up for the Canadian Mental Health Association Sault Ste. Marie’s 5th annual Ride Don’t Hide event, all focused on direct client care.
Ride Don’t Hide, presented by The Medicine Shoppe, is a nationwide fundraising bike ride that brings mental health out into the open. Now in its eighth year, Ride Don’t Hide will take place on June 23, 2019, in over 25 communities across Canada. Ride Don’t Hide events are welcoming community events for cyclists of all ages and abilities that build awareness, inclusion and acceptance, and where everyone is encouraged and supported to speak openly about their own mental health.
“We are inviting all Sault Ste. Marie residents to register, donate or volunteer to help CMHA Sault Ste. Marie bring mental health into the open” says Annette Katajamaki. Over half of Canadians consider anxiety and depression (53%) to be epidemic in Canada, but two thirds (66%) of those with mental health issues do not access help, largely due to stigma.
CMHA Sault Ste. Marie credits the success of Ride Don’t Hide to the involvement and support from members of their local organizing committee including the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
“The Ontario Provincial Police is committed to supporting proactive initiatives to improve responses to the mental health needs of our members and the individuals in the communities in which they serve. It is through an integrated and coordinated effort by partnership building with external agencies such as the Canadian Mental Health Association that the shared values of building awareness and reducing stigma are put into practice,” says acting Staff Sergeant Manuela Byrnes, Sault Ste. Marie OPP.
“When we hide from each other and from how we’re feeling, we don’t get the support or help we deserve or need,” says Katajamaki. “We all deserve to feel well. And connecting with each other, with our families and our communities through Ride Don’t Hide can help forge those bonds and fortify that social cohesion that reassures us we are not alone.”
Ride Don’t Hide is the largest mental health bike ride in Canada, with over 10,000 riders and hundreds more family members, friends and volunteers across Canada taking part, raising more than $2 million each year for the Canadian Mental Health Association, across the country.
“We are extremely grateful to the Algoma region for its support for direct client care. Thanks to the community, we have been able to provide supports for our direct client care programs,” says Lisa Carricato, the branches Mental Health Educator.
To find out more, or to get involved as a volunteer, donor or rider, please visit www.ridedonthide.com.