Ride Don't Hide to start the conversation about mental illness this weekend - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
15.7°C

Ride Don't Hide to start the conversation about mental illness this weekend

Ride Don't Hide for mental health takes place June 23 in Kamloops and Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Canadian Mental Health Association
June 19, 2019 - 2:16 PM

The national cycling fundraiser Ride Don’t Hide is back again this year with events planned this Saturday across the Okanagan and in Kamloops.

The ride on Saturday, June 23, will begin at the Kelowna Curling Club baseball diamond, at the Riverside Park bandshell in Kamloops, at KVR Middle School in Penticton and Creekside Park in Vernon.

Organized by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the event is designed to start the conversation around mental illness and encourage an open dialogue. CMHA has dedicated Ride Don’t Hide in Kelowna to two brothers, Payton and Dillon Budd, who both lost their lives to suicide.

The Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride is a rallying point for anyone living with mental illness, but also for those who know someone who struggled with their mental health.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by RDH Kamloops (@ridedonthidekam) on

 

Although Cam McAlpine has never been diagnosed with mental illness himself, the Kelowna man watched his daughter Georgia McAlpine struggle with depression and anxiety for just over a year. She fell through a gap in the mental health system and wasn’t able to access the help she needed.

In October 2016, Georgia took her own life, 20 days before her 19th birthday. At the time she was on three waitlists for support groups. 

“When Georgia died, she wrote a note,” McAlpine says. “She asked us to tell the truth about why she died, and to open up the conversation.”

For the last several years, McAlpine has dedicated himself to mental health advocacy, sharing Georgia’s story as widely as possible.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Georgia McAlpine (@georgiamcalpine) on

 

On June 17, McAlpine was awarded the Shield of Public Service by the Canadian Public Relations Society. However, he believes that the award is for his whole family, not just himself, as they were integral in the campaign to raise money to open the Foundry, the youth mental health clinic in Kelowna.

When looking back on what he has accomplished since Georgia’s death, McAlpine is humble.

“I try to use any platform I’m given to talk about mental health,” McAlpine says. “It was Georgia’s wish that we do this... I feel like I’m doing what little I can, but there’s a whole lot more to do.”

This year McAlpine signed up a team to run at Ride Don't Hide, named Georgia’s Wish. The team has surpassed their fundraising goal, having currently raised $5611.

McAlpine states that the difference in the level of support he and his family receives compared to what happened before Georgia died has been exponential. He remarks that Georgia’s story has inspired countless others to come forward and share their struggle with mental illness.

This is exactly the purpose of Ride Don’t Hide, which will be taking place in 25 communities across Canada this Sunday. The nationwide campaign not only opens up the conversation, but raises more than $2 million each year for the CMHA, which provides services for those in need, just like Georgia.

“My key message to people is that if you’re hurting or you know someone who’s hurting, you need to know you’re not alone,” McAlpine says. “We need to reach out to people that we see are hurting and that’s the fundamental thing I’m trying to do.”

The event schedule for Ride Don’t Hide is available online here for Kelowna, Kamloops, Penticton, Vernon

To donate to Georgia’s Wish, any other team or the CMHA itself, click here.


We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile