Shannon Holmes (above) tows her sons Bennett and Oliver during the Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide event to raise awareness about mental health in Coldstream Sunday.

Shannon Holmes (above) tows her sons Bennett and Oliver during the Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide event to raise awareness about mental health in Coldstream Sunday.

Ride sends a strong message

Riders came out to Coldstream for the Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide event.

It was a cool, sunny morning on Father’s Day as riders came out to Coldstream for the Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide event.

Organizers were dreaming of raising $20,000 but instead, they shattered the goal and raised $28,061.

“Participating in a healthy event contributes to our mental health. Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety,” said Sharon Durant, human resources and operations manager with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The amount of riders nearly doubled from 84 riders last year to 150 participants this year.

The funds raised support programs operated by CMHA in Vernon.

“We live in an amazing community and appreciate everyone’s generosity from the many volunteers, riders and donors,” said Durant.

The Ride Don’t Hide event took place across the country and raised $108,507.

Along with the money raised, the ride wanted to educate people about mental illness, as there is often a misunderstanding surrounding it.

“These feelings of shame or embarrassment stop others from reaching out for help. However, early intervention and treatment are key,” said Durant.

For more information about the Canadian Mental Health Association in Vernon, check out www.vernon.cmha.bc.ca/how-we-can-help/support-services/programs.services for more information.