Vernon Secondary School class of 1987 came together for their 30 year high school reunion raising over $700 in honour of Michael Schratter, founder of the Ride Don’t Hide movement.

Ride Don’t Hide is an annual community bike ride hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association in celebration and support of mental health. A nation-wide movement, the goal of Ride Don’t Hide is to raise awareness’ of mental health, reduce the discrimination and stigma around mental illness and raise funds to benefit local programs and services.

The Ride Don’t Hide movement began in 2010 when Michael Schratter embarked on a global journey to cycle 40,000 km, crossing six continents and 33 countries, raising $100,000 for CMHA. Over the past 6 years Ride Don’t Hide has raised over $5.6 million nationally, with rides in 30 communities across Canada.

Michael’s family and friends have taken up the cause, locally organizing the Vernon Ride Don’t Hide for the past 5 years raising over $130,000 to improve mental health in our community. This past year support for the Ride took off, with the highest attendance and fundraising to date with over 190 riders and $58,500 in funds raised.

Inspired by the impact Michael has made on the world, his graduating class decided to raise funds to support mental health in Vernon in honour of Michael. “We are all so moved by Mike’s story, both his personal journey and for the community as well. What a powerful mark to make in the world, to start a national movement for mental health.” said Sheri Minard, Reunion Committee Member. “We wanted to support our classmate with this donation and honour the great work he has done to improve mental health not only for us in Vernon but for everyone across Canada.”

Community events in support of mental health demonstrate the growing awareness of the importance mental health plays in health care for all in our community.

“It is inspiring to see spontaneous community support with events like this one that not only raise funds for critical community services but also work to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Mental health starts with community and when we come together and talk about mental health we take great strides in breaking down the stigma that prevents people from seeking help. This is how we make change in our community and improve mental health for everyone,” said Julia Payson, CMHA Executive Director.

Ride Don’t Hide will be held on Sunday June 24, 2018, celebrating CMHA’s 100th Year Anniversary. Mark your calendar to come out and support the Ride Don’t Hide movement to improve mental health in our community.

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