Clara Hughes’ Big Ride for mental health
Clara Hughes is biking for 110 days across Canada for mental health awareness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which coincides with the Mental Health edition of our magazine. We are amazed by the awareness bike ride campaign that Olympic medalist Clara Hughes is doing to create awareness about mental health.
So often mental health is not talked about, those suffering from mental health suffer in unnecessary silence. Mental health awareness is all about opening the communication about mental health, and that is just what our mental health edition talks about.
City News Toronto posted a great article on Clara Hughes’ 110-day bike ride for Mental Health:.
When the darkness threatened to envelop Clara Hughes, the six-time Olympian sought solace on her bike.
Hughes climbed on her bike again Friday for what she called the most important ride of her life. The retired athlete, who is known almost as much as a tireless advocate for mental health awareness as she is an Olympic champion, set off on Clara’s Big Ride — a 110-day journey around Canada to promote conversation about mental health.
“This is bigger than anything I’ve ever done or ever will do,” Hughes said. “And the best part about it is it’s not about me. I’m using the bike as a vehicle to bring the mental health conversation and then using every community event that we visit, every school, to really elevate the people in the community, the students to give them a voice, give them the platform.
“It’s so different from sport because this is not about me. It is actually what motivates me to do this.”
The 41-year-old Hughes, who has been vocal about her battle with depression, won Olympic medals in both cycling and long-track speedskating, and when she retired from competitive sports after the 2012 London Olympics and suddenly found herself with more time on her hands, a cross-country bike ride seemed the perfect vehicle for her cause.
“Over the years, I’ve done a lot of bike touring as well as my racing, and there’s a curiosity when you roll into town and roll out of town. Where have you come from? Where are you going?” Hughes said. “And I wanted it to be epic. I felt like we need something epic for people to really connect to, and riding across and around Canada is epic.
“This is a massive country and I just feel like maybe we can show also the importance of movement, of being active, whatever it is. Going for a walk, riding your bike. That’s a big part of my mental health practice, so I also wanted to show that.”
Connecting with Youth
Clara will share her personal experience with mental health issues with youth at schools and community organizations across Canada. The goal? To empower youth to understand what mental health means to them and how they can support others who may be suffering. Our hope is that the next generation of Canadians will grow up in a society where there is no stigma associated with mental illness. Learn More…