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October 27, 2017 5:14 pm

Get Ready to Ride

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 @ 5:57 AM

Riders  start their  ride in last year’s event – photo 250News archive

Prince George, B.C. – No one is immune to mental illness, that’s why the annual Ride Don’t Hide  event is so important  to  communities,  including Prince George.

Mary  Lu Spagrud is the Manager of Education Projects with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Prince George  office.  New information indicates more and more Canadians  are being  diagnosed with  mental illness.    The increase  may be due in part  to  peeling  away the stigma  of mental health  making more  people  feel more comfortable in coming forward ” That’s one of the factors we believe is happening” says Spagrud “We are doing a lot more education  and there  seems to be a lot more acceptance in the fact that some of those myths around mental illness  (such as ) some people don’t require treatment,  we are starting to see that change and we are becoming better at understanding what does mental illness look like,  what does it mean to  be depressed,  what does it mean to have an anxiety disorder.”

Another factor  is the impact of having  people like Princes William and Harry  come forward to talk about their own mental health  experiences “Having celebrities talk about mental health  normalizes it” says Spagrud.

This is the 5th year for the  Ride Don’t Hide  event in Prince George.  It  is  a family event that encourages people to talk about mental illness “and  work towards talking about health in general, rather than  the  differences between physical and mental health.”

Last year, the  event raised  nearly $12.5 thousand dollars.

Statistics  show people who live in northern climates   seem to be more susceptible to  a certain type of mental health issue says Spagrud “We do see higher rates in  northern parts of provinces of Seasonald  Affected disorder due to the longer winters and reduced sunlight.”

All of the money raised through the Ride Don’t Hide event in Prince George statys in Prince George says Spagrud “It goes towards  the  education progam at the Canadian Mental Health Association here.  It allows  us to do subsidized training, or go agencies that can’t normally  afford fees,  it allows us to speak  at schools,  do the sort of off the  desk kind of things we would like to do, but thee is always that question of who is going to pay for it?”

She says the dollars are all about  making education more accessible.

The Ride itself is set to take place on June 25th  and will offer  a variety of  lengths of rides for participants, from 6 km to  50 kms for  more advanced riders.  The event kicks off at 9:00  with the  cyclists  wheeling out at 10:00.

Those wanting more information,  or who would like to make a donation or sponsor  other riders can  get the details by clicking here.



Yes , Prince Harry and I have so much in common, I can really connect with him. I hope Bill Gates and Warren Buffet tell me what its like to cope with certain stigmas next.

    Losing a parent at a young age is damaging, no matter your financial status. I’m sure the added publicity of it did not help.

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