You may have noticed the blue sun canopy, stationary bicycle and perhaps a couple of green T-shirted people outside the Salmon Arm offices of the Canadian Mental Health Association on Hudson during the week.
That was just a prelude to what’s coming up in June.
During Mental Health Week, May 3 to 7, mostly staff, board members and the CMHA community at CMHA Shuswap Revelstoke have been outside stationary cycling and promoting the week. Part of the reason it’s been mainly staff is that if people are already registered for the Ride Don’t Hide event, the waiver is in effect. However, Denise Butler, Ride Don’t Hide coordinator, said a few people walking by have wanted to cycle, so they’ve been accommodated. The bike will also be on site Friday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For all of June, the annual Ride Don’t Hide event will be ongoing but in a different format this year because of the pandemic. Held to raise awareness and funds, this year’s event will be mostly virtual. Everyone who registers for the virtual Ride Don’t Hide can book a time slot for riding the stationary bike. It will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, for 15- or 30-minute slots.
“This year is Choose Your Own Adventure, so you don’t have to do a bike ride, you can choose whatever activity you want to do for your mental health and well-being,” Butler explained. “We have an app you can track your activity on so you can be tracking your minutes for the whole month of June. There will be different incentives and just lots of fun happening.”
If you don’t want to ride, there’s a chair where you can read, listen to music, talk with people – whatever is good for your mental health.
In non-pandemic years a big event has been held at the Little Mountain fields, so this year, fun and connections will take place online and at the CMHA location.