Ride Don't Hide 2014: Cycle Through Kelowna to Benefit CMHA's Mental Health Programs on June 22

Despite the best efforts of many dedicated individuals, mental health issues still struggle underneath a heavy stigma. Organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) have been battling to improve the plight of the mentally ill for decades. The 2014 Ride Don't Hide event is dedicated to improving awareness and providing better medical services by raising funds for mental health programs.

About the Canadian Mental Health Association

As one of the longest-running and most widely recognized volunteer-run health organizations in Canada, the CMHA has been dedicated to helping the country with mental illness issues since 1918. The organization was started by Clifford W. Beers and Dr. Clarence M. Hincks after Dr. Hincks personally suffered through periods of mental illness. The objectives of the CMHA at the time were focused on examining and treating soldiers and immigrants affected by war, improving facilities for diagnosing and treating mental illness, improving treatment for mentally deficient people and preventing mental illness. Currently, the CMHA has evolved to help over 100,000 people by deploying over 10,000 workers and volunteers spread across more than 135 communities. As a whole the organization is dedicated to fostering mentally healthy people in a healthy society, a vision that includes all Canadians.

Ride Don't Hide Raises Awareness about Mental Health Issues

The original Ride Don't Hide campaign was initiated by Vancouver teacher and columnist Michael Schratter on August 1, 2010. He decided to cycle 40,000 kilometres across 33 countries and six continents in order to increase awareness about the stigma of mental illness issues. The ride was a huge success. In addition to raising $100,000 for mental health programs for children and youth, the campaign influenced millions of people around the world, including those who had a chance to share their own stories of struggles with mental illness. Ride Don't Hide 2014 features more than 3,600 participants over three provinces and 19 communities in an attempt to raise $800,000 to benefit mental health.

Ride Don't Hide in Kelowna

The Ride Don't Hide Kelowna event begins and ends at the Rotary Centre for the Arts located on 421 Cawston Ave. Participants may choose from two different rides set up by organizers. For avid cycling enthusiasts, a 40-kilometre journey through the beautiful Mission Kelowna district awaits. A more relaxed, 7-kilometre route around the downtown Kelowna area is available for families. The 2014 edition of Ride Don't Hide Kelowna takes place on June 22nd with on-site registration available at 8 a.m. The longer, 40-kilometre ride starts at 8:30 a.m. while the family ride begins at 9 a.m. Registration costs $30 before April 30th and $35 after the early bird deadline. Children under twelve may ride for free. The festivities include healthy food, activities for riders, prizes and bike inspection services.

Considering the prevalence of mental health issues in Canada and across the world, it's likely that at least one of our friends or family members has suffered through a bout of mental illness during their lives. The Kelowna Ride Don't Hide event is a fantastic way to raise funds and awareness. Riding around the beautiful city of Kelowna is a positive way to honour the struggles of loved ones while continuing to build stronger mental health programs in the future.

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