4th Annual Ride Don’t Hide fights the stigma of mental illness

Over $147,000 was raised in the annual Ride Don’t Hide event on Sunday.

The ride began at Spring Bank Park for All Seasons and riders biked 105km, 50km, or 10km ride to raise awareness for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Ride Don’t Hide lead Amy Ball said that the ride supports and helps the community.

“The event helps raise awareness as well as break the stigma of the Mental Health Association while also raising funds,” Ball said.

Every year one in five Canadians experience a mental health problem or illness and only one third of them seek help.

This year the rides featured two ambassadors, retired Olympic Speed Skater Anastasia Bucsis and retired Calgary Fire Chief Mark Weatherly.

Bucsis competed in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Sochi 2014 Olympics, but a year before the Sochi Olympics she was diagnosed with depression.

Former Fire Chief Mark Weatherly has suffered from depression along with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ball said that with people like Bucsis and Weatherly opening up and talking about mental illness it helps break down the stigma that people have towards it.

“Events like this are fun and family orientated to help open and start the conversation about mental health,” Ball said.

The funds raised provide the help needed for CMHA to support mental health programs in Calgary.

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