The “Ride Don’t Hide” Mental Health Virtual Fundraiser

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The “Ride Don’t Hide” Mental Health Virtual Fundraiser

Ride a bike, walk, run, do yoga, cook, bake, meditate, garden etc. throughout June. “Ride Don’t Hide” is more than a fundraiser — it’s a national movement for mental health.

“The pandemic has been hard, but the silver lining is that more people are aware of their own mental health, and more willing to talk freely about their stresses and struggles,” says Claudia den Boer, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County Branch (CMHA-WECB). “Taking part in ‘Ride Don’t Hide’ is an opportunity to get active and to no longer hide from talking about mental health, addictions, bereavement and suicide.”

More than 49% of Ontarians report worsening mental health since the onset of the pandemic, which came with school closures, lockdowns, social isolation and economic insecurity. In response, the nation’s largest mental health bike ride, “Ride Don’t Hide,” is bringing people together to raise funds to support the mental health and well-being of our hardest hit community members, while boosting moods through movement.

Locally, the Windsor-Essex County Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association hosts its 8th annual “Ride Don’t Hide” throughout the month of June.

The event has raised more than $285,000, over the last seven years, for their Bereavement program, Client Assistance Fund and Mental Health Education and Training — all unfunded by the government.

The branch is offering daily activities during “Spirit Week” and weekly challenges from CMHA National. Prizes are given for hitting certain fundraising milestones.

As a virtual event, participants are invited to take part in whatever way makes them feel physically and mentally well — whether that is cycling, running, walking, yoga, gardening, cooking, meditating — it is “your ride, your way”.

Participants are encouraged to set a personal goal to achieve 330 active minutes in June and raise $330 — the amount it costs for one Canadian to have access to mental health resources in Canada.

Teams can participate while physical distancing outside.

“Windsor and Essex County residents are displaying great resilience and courage in this time of crisis, and this is helping bring mental health into the open,” den Boer states.

Mental health is something to protect, something we can strengthen. A CMHA mandate is to get people the help they need, while reducing pressure on a healthcare system that has been hit so hard by COVID-19.

Log on to: RideDontHide.com/Windsor for more details and to register or download (at no charge) the new “Ride Don’t Hide” app to your smartphone.

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