“For when thousands of Canadians ride in dozens of cities across our great country as free, strong, and unashamed contributing citizens, then the fear and misunderstanding vanishes and we are left with nothing but love, acceptance, and humanity.” – Michael Schratter, Founder and Ambassador of Ride Don’t Hide.
The statistics are clear: one in five Canadians will experience a mental health issue in any given year. This means that right now, over seven million Canadians are struggling with their mental health.
If seven million Canadians are experiencing mental health challenges, then why does the stigma still exist?
That’s what Michael Schratter was fighting to understand almost eight years ago when he decided to cycle 40,000 km in 16 months.
Ride Don’t Hide began as a single cycling venture to support the Canadian Mental Health Association’s BC Division in 2010. Taking a page out of the books of Terry Fox and Rick Hansen, Schratter combined his passion for cycling with his desire to change the narrative for people struggling with mental illnesses.
His hope was that his ride would catch people’s attention and spark conversation about stigma. And it did.
Almost eight years later, Ride Don’t Hide has developed into a nationwide fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association, taking place in over 30 communities. In 2017, over $1.5 million was raised by over 7,000 riders.
During Ride Don’t Hide, Canadians come out with pride and enthusiasm to show the country that mental health is an important issue. When Canadians ride, they are showing the nation that mental illnesses are not to be ashamed of.
When we hide, we let the stigma take control of mental illnesses. When we ride, we demonstrate strength and community. We ride to shatter the stigma.
Register or donate to Ride Don’t Hide coming up this June 24, 2018, at www.ridedonthide.com.