Ride promotes mental health

Sunday's Ride Don’t Hide will send cyclists on a 10-kilometre course around Penticton in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association

Monique Godby prepares to hop on her bicycle for some training for Sunday’s Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide fundraiser and awareness event in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Monique Godby prepares to hop on her bicycle for some training for Sunday’s Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide fundraiser and awareness event in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

This Sunday Monique Godby will be riding for her life.

The Penticton woman will also be pedalling the 10-kilometre Ride Don’t Hide course along the KVR Trail for the millions of other Canadians who, like herself, struggle with mental illness.

“Hiding it always makes things worse, and it took a long time for me but I’m not hiding any more,” she said recently while relaxing at Unity House. “So I smile and say: ‘This is who I am and I’m not going to hide anymore.’ Mental illness is part of my life, it is who I am but I’ve decided it’s not going to be my whole life.”

The local office of the Canadian Mental Health Association is still taking registrations for the cycling event which is sponsored in large part this year by Shoppers Drug Mart.

This year’s ride, which also has a 20-kilometre course, is targeting women and families impacted by mental illness.

While the last few years have been a coming out of sorts for people with psychological issues, the journey is far from over.

Helping cover the remaining distance as quickly as possible is what the ride is all about.

“Everyday is a challenge when you have mental illness, it is something we struggle with all the time and the stigma that is attached to it,” said Godby.

“It is a matter of setting priorities, and the important thing for me and everyone is to get out there and help others. Whenever I notice a situation where I can help I’m going to get out there and do what I can.”

She admitted some days are tough just to get out of bed, but knowing there is support out there for her makes it easier to cope.

“I focus on the positive and not the stigma,” she added.

Dennis Tottenham is the executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen branch of the association, who sees daily the difficulties people continue to face.

“A lot of them don’t know about the services, or the services are not available, or because of the stigma they don’t come forward and so continue to suffer in silence,” he said. “Often people are blamed for having a mental illness, that somehow it’s their fault and they deserve it.”

Compounding the problem is there are many single-parent families, often mothers and children, and the pressures sometimes stretch coping mechanisms to the breaking point.

“That can include anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder and self-harming activities such as cutting and anorexia and bulimia,” said Tottenham “Then, when you throw in things like cyber-bullying and all the challenges of the Internet, it can really be overwhelming if you don’t get help or know where to find it.”

One of the goals of the ride is to help raise awareness and let people know there is help available.

Tottenham is hoping for about 75-100 riders this Sunday.

Registration is at 8:30 a.m. at the KVR Middle School with the ride starting at 9:15.

Registration is $35 and kids under 14 can ride for free. Registration includes a rider shirt, entertainment and a barbecue.

There will be a number of prizes including one for the highest pledge given out afterwards

For more information call 250-493-8999 or email cmha_sos@shaw.ca.

 

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read