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Vernon riders cycle for youth mental health

CMHA Vernon’s annual Ride Don’t Hide event a success
Riders take part in CMHA Vernon’s annual Ride Don’t Hide fundraising event in Polson Park Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

There’s no need to hide from mental health challenges, because in Vernon, support is becoming more and more available.

That was the message driving the annual Ride Don’t Hide event hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Vernon Branch, which invited people bring their bikes to Polson Park Saturday and pedal for a good cause.

There were six different routes riders could take, ranging from a 50-kilometre bike ride to the 1.2 kilometre “small wheelers” track around Polson Park.

CMHA Vernon’s focus for the fundraising event was on programs and services for youth struggling with their mental health. Funds raised will bolster the Youth Integrated Service Hub. And soon, CMHA will be opening a Foundry Centre in Vernon, where experts such as peer support workers will help young people take care of their mental health and well-being.

CMHA Vernon members said at the event that the Foundry is expected to open within the next year.

Last year the event raised about $60,000 and organizers said this year’s event was on track to meet that fundraising mark once again.

Donations raised during Ride Don’t Hide will be matched by the Galbraith Family Foundation.

Organizers said the turnout for the event was strong, and thanked the volunteers and sponsors that helped make this year’s Ride Don’t Hide possible.

READ MORE: Vernon schools see rise in students struggling with mental health

READ MORE: ‘Bunch of idiots’: Vernon victim relatives query psychiatric releases

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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