Penticton man shares his journey through mental illness

Jeremy McGoran starting a conversation about mental health in the Penticton community.

Ride Don't Hide event is being held in Penticton on June 26.

Ride Don't Hide event is being held in Penticton on June 26.

Local radio personality, Jeremy McGoran, spoke to his doctor about feeling suicidal one-year-and-a-half ago, now he shares his story to help reduce the stigma around mental health and support a local fundraising and awareness event, Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide.

Read more:Ride Don’t Hide event hits KVR Trail this weekend

“When I started telling people about my anxiety and depression, I was surprised the most by how many other people in my life also dealt with mental illness, but just didn’t talk about it,” said McGoran, Afternoon Drive host on Penticton EZ Rock. “I didn’t even know my brothers had gone through similar experiences.”

It was then, McGoran decided to use his platform on the radio to his advantage and start a conversation about mental health in the Penticton community. To start this process, together with his wife, Mare McHale, McGoran created a two part-video about their experience with mental illness, and the response was great.

Later that year, Bell Media’s, Let’s Talk Day, was a great coincidence, and opportunity to share again about mental illness with his listeners and the company he works for. Talking about mental health was easy for McGoran, because so many people do not share their experiences, which fuels the stigma around mental health in our society.

“If you suffer from a mental illness and you haven’t told anyone, just tell one person. You are not alone,” McGoran shares, “You will be amazed at how many other people in your life have gone through a similar experience. Those people will become your support system, like with any other problem.”

One in five Canadians have a mental illness, and two-thirds of those people suffer in silence. Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide aims to reduce the stigma around metal illness and raises funds for local programs put on by the Canadian Mental Health Association. The community event is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for riders of all ages and abilities—from novice rider to the advanced cyclist. In addition to the benefits of physical activity, participants will be helping to break the stigma associated with mental illness.

The 2015 event raised over $23,000, for local programs and services in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. Sign up as a participant to hear McGoran’s complete story on Sunday June 26, or donate to Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide at ridedonthide.com.