Awareness and Funding for Mental Health Supports

The second annual Ride Don’t Hide event kicked off on Saturday to promote and raise funds for mental health awareness and support.

The month-long mental and physical wellness challenge is launched by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“The idea is to bring mental health out into the open,” said Alex Abboud, senior director of outreach at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Edmonton Region.

“We know the last few years have been tough and a lot of people…have suffered a bit with their mental health at some point.”

The event is free and aims to get people active.

“We have a number of fitness studios participating, offering classes through donations and you can also participate on your own, organize your own event, collect pledges from family and friends and donations,” Abboud said.

This year’s goal is to raise $75,000 for mental health programs in Edmonton like a 24-hour crisis line, family support groups, and community training and education.

“Talking about (mental health) and taking that first step is really hard, letting someone know that you’re not well, that you’re going through a tough time, and that you can act on it,” Abboud said.

In 2021, 214 event attendees raised $64,000, exceeding the original fundraising goal.

More information about the event is available on the Ride Don’t Hide website.

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