Volunteer for Mental Wellness

Volunteer for Mental Wellness

By: Kelly Choi
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On August 1, 2010, Michael Schratter, a Vancouver school teacher, decided to embark on a global journey to cycle 40,000 km, crossing six continents and 33 countries. His mission--to raise awareness and alleviate the stigma of mental illness. Michael lives with bipolar disorder and experienced firsthand the struggles and stigma that often accompany those living with a mental illness. The success of Michael's journey led to the beginning of Ride Don't Hide.

Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don't Hide is a community bike ride event hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association along with the support of Shoppers Drug Mart. The theme of this year’s ride is women's mental health, meaning all funds raised will go towards mental health programs that benefit women and their families.

This year's event takes place on Sunday, June 23. Participants who signed up as cyclists for the 60K route will begin their journey at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, cycle through Vancouver to Richmond, and eventually make their way back to the stadium. Alternatively, there are shorter routes such as the 20K or 10K route.

With the event getting bigger and bigger each year, volunteers are necessary to aid the cyclists and to run a successful show. There are a number of volunteer positions available with various responsibilities, including directing cyclists during the event, helping with onsite registration of cyclists, or helping prepare food and snacks for cyclists and volunteers.

Volunteering with Ride Don’t Hide would be a great opportunity with many benefits including meeting great new people, obtaining a volunteer t-shirt, free food, and of course, learning more about mental health and illness and being able to give back to the community. Check out SFU Symplicity for more information or to apply for these positions! Alternatively, you can also register as a cyclist to help with the fundraising for these programs.

Michael's determination was able to reach numerous people across the globe, touching the hearts of individuals and families who admitted to struggling with mental illness, and proving that those afflicted with mental illness are capable of extraordinary feats. You can learn more about the Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don't Hide event at their website.

Posted on June 11, 2013