Melanie Mohr with the Canadian Mental Health Association's Shuswap-Revelstoke branch shares a laugh with Jack Barker from Shuswap Lake Estates, who's turning 97 this month. He is taking a few turns on a stationary bike outside the CMHA's thrift shop on Hudson Avenue May 3 to help promote Mental Health Week and  the Ride Don't Hide cycling event coming up in June. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

Moving mental health forward in Shuswap with Ride Don’t Hide

Stationary bikes raise awareness of Mental Health Week, point way to cycling fundraiser in June

To help promote Mental Health Week, May 2-8, and the upcoming Ride Don’t Hide fundraiser, a man who’s just a few years short of a century boarded a stationary bicycle for several turns of the pedals.

Jack Barker from Shuswap Lake Estates, who turns 97 this month, was accompanied by family members and other supporters on May 3 as he cycled in Salmon Arm to support the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Shuswap-Revelstoke branch.

A pilot for the Canadian air force in the Second World War, on Tuesday Barker wore medals and other memorabilia from that time.

Asked why he came out to cycle, he laughed: “I had a bunch of girls around me who roped me into it.”

Three of his daughters were with him. He added that his family likes to support local functions.

Asked how it was pedaling the bike when he’s closing in on 97, he had just one complaint.

“The seat was a little hard,” he said smiling. “They could have made it out of cement and made it softer.”

Read more: Demand for mental health services increasing with acceptance

Read more: Getting the wheels turning for Salmon Arm’s Ride Don’t Hide event

CMHA’s Ride Don’t Hide event will be held throughout June.

Ride Don’t Hide is the largest mental health bike ride in Canada, states the CMHA website.

“In June 2022, thousands of riders across Canada will come together to move for their mental health and for their community. Ride Don’t Hide isn’t just a fundraiser, it’s a movement for mental health.”

In Salmon Arm, a Celebration Day will be held June 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Blackburn Park where residents are welcome to come and enjoy music, food and old-school games.

For Ride Don’t Hide, people are invited to form a team, donate and connect with others. Registering and/or donating can be done on the CMHA website under donor drive.
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