BC RCMP and Ride Don't Hide challenge mental health stigma

B.C., This Is What We Do

2019-06-04 13:30 PDT

Cyclists and teams of first responders will soon be taking to the road to bring mental health into the open June 23rd for the Canadian Mental Health Association's Ride Don’t Hide.

The annual community event opens the conversation on mental health and raises money for
local mental health programs. Eight locations in B.C. will hold their own unique event. In the Greater Vancouver area, the public is invited to join with distances ranging from a family 5km walk to a police-escorted 100km ride. There is even a virtual ride for those unable to participate on June 23rd. There is spot for everyone to get loud about mental health by supporting Ride Don’t Hide.

When a loved one is struggling with poor mental health it can feel helpless, said Michael Anhorn, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Vancouver-Fraser, Joining Ride Don’t Hide can be an important conversation starter and is a clear sign you are a mental health advocate -- working to normalize mental health and end stigma.

As frontline first responders, BC RCMP have been long-time supporters of Ride Don’t Hide. With first-hand experience supporting those in mental health crisis and working in a profession with high-risk for negative mental health impacts, the BC RCMP are active participants in Ride Don’t Hide each year.

When we talk about policing culture we all know stigma is silencing, said Surrey RCMP Detachment Superintendent Ed Boettcher speaking from his own experiences. When you encounter that you feel unbearably alone. I want to see a day when seeing a psychologist becomes as normal as seeing a dentist, a doctor or a chiropractor.

The BC RCMP are proud partners once again participating and supporting this important mental health event. The event draws many parallels to a community supporting mental health.

Speaking about his experience doing the police escorted 100k route, Boettcher says, You bike as a group, you pull as a group, you draft as a group. You help along people who may be struggling who in another circumstance may have dropped off. The experience of doing it together makes everyone more successful.

From kids on their first bike to seniors walking to weekend warriors and elite racers, Ride Don’t Hide’s inclusive community spirit emphasizes everyone deserves positive mental health and everyone has a voice in the conversation to end stigma. The event wraps up with a family-friendly festival at Swangard Stadium with entertainment, activities and a special bike area for kids. www.ridedonthide.com

Media Contact:
Robin Thorneycroft
Communications, Ride Don’t Hide Committee

Sgt. Janelle Shoihet
BC RCMP Communications

About Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Each year, CMHA provides services and support to more than 1.3 million Canadians through the combined efforts of more than 11,000 volunteers and staff across Canada in over 330 communities. As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness.

Ride Don’t Hide



Five mental health benefits of cycling:

  1. Stress relief - Cycling reduces the level of cortisol in your body, which is known as the stress hormone. It can also be a great way to break away from a stressful routine and get out.
  2. Confidence boost - Cycling releases serotonin, a mood neurotransmitter that is known for enhancing good feelings, self-esteem and self-confidence. In addition to all this, cycling regularly will improve your physical health which will boost your confidence about your appearance.
  3. Sleep well - Exercise from cycling encourages the healthy release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) into your bloodstream during sleep. HGH helps your body to fall into a proper sleep, and a boost from cycling can help those who find it difficult to drift off. Cycling will also leave your body physically exhausted which will aid sleep.
  4. A natural high - Regular exercise and cycling increases the level of endorphins in your body. These endorphins are chemicals that help us feel good and trigger a positive reaction within our minds and bodies.
  5. Get outdoors - For those suffering from mental health issues, often staying indoors can make matters worse. Getting outside into nature and sunshine can work wonders for those battling depression and anxiety; combine this with exercise and you are onto a winner.

Ride Don't Hide Poster - Build your Ride Don't Hide Team - June 23, 2019

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