About the Ride
What is Ride Don’t Hide?
Ride Don’t Hide is a nationwide fundraising bike ride that brings mental health into the open and raises funds for local programs that help each of us take care of our mental health. Ride Don’t Hide events are welcoming community events that build awareness, inclusion and acceptance, and where everyone is encouraged and supported to speak openly about their own mental health. Ride Don’t Hide is the largest mental health bike ride in Canada with almost 10,000 riders and hundreds more family members, friends and volunteers across Canada taking part, raising more than $2 million each year for the Canadian Mental Health Association.
One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in any given year, but five in five Canadians – every one of us – has mental health. And we all need to take care of it.
When we hide from each other and from how we’re feeling, we don’t get the support or help we deserve or need.
- 2/3 of those with mental health issues do not access help, largely due to stigma.
- Over half of Canadians consider anxiety and depression (53%) to be epidemic in Canada.
- About 1.2 million Canadian children and youth experience a mental illness, but less than 20% receive help.
- 85% of Canadians think mental health services are among the most underfunded services in our health care system.
Everyone deserves to feel well, whatever their mental health experience. In order to thrive, we all need a good sense of self, and we all need purpose, contribution, hope, resilience and belonging. Ride Don’t Hide brings our friends, families and local communities together to say that mental health is important and we are not alone. We ride to bring mental health into the open so everyone can get the support they need to thrive.
Ride Don’t Hide Origins
Ride Don’t Hide began with one man and has become a nationwide movement for mental health.
Ride Don't Hide began in 2010 as Michael Schratter, a Vancouver teacher and newspaper columnist, embarked on a global journey to cycle 40,000 kilometres, crossing six continents and 33 countries to raise funds for CMHA BC Division. Michael’s mission was to circumnavigate the world, sharing stories with people in different countries, and in doing so bring attention and awareness to the stigma surrounding mental illness. People were invited to share their stories and make a promise to help end mental illness stigma on his website, where Michael shared photos, stories and reflections from the road.
To continue Michael’s legacy, CMHA BC adopted Ride Don’t Hide as its leading awareness and fundraising event to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. What started out as a a partnership between CMHA Vancouver-Burnaby, North & West Vancouver branches, and BC Division, raising $75,000 and engaging 500 participants, has grown nationwide.
Now with more than 25 communities across eight provinces and almost 10,000 participants annually, Ride Don’t Hide has generated nearly $10 million towards mental health programs and services in communities across Canada.