Clara Hughes’ Big Ride: fighting the stigma of mental illness

Feb 06, 2014

Clara HughesOn March 14, Canadian Olympic cyclist and speed skater Clara Hughes begins one of the most meaningful rides of her life: a 110-day, 12,000 km bicycle tour across Canada. Undertaken as part of Bell Let's Talk, a national mental health initiative, Clara will be stopping at 95 communities along the way to talk with people about mental health and share her own story of overcoming mental health challenges.

About one in five Canadians will experience a mental disorder during their lifetime. Two-thirds of these people won't ask for help because they feel ashamed or scared. Clara knows. She experienced depression in the midst of her Olympic career and, like many of us, blamed herself until she realized depression and other disorders are illnesses that can be treated.

Clara went on to earn more Olympic medals and as national spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk will now be taking her own personal message across the country.

How to be a part of Clara's Big Ride

  • Find out more about the ride by visiting the official website.
  • Join in any events and conversations hosted by community champions of mental health organizations in your community. These champions will play an integral role in welcoming Clara Hughes into the communities she visits.
  • Rally people together to raise awareness and funds for any mental health organization in Canada. Although Clara's Big Ride is not a fundraising event, Bell Let's Talk encourages Canadians to raise funds for their own local mental health organizations.
  • Grow the conversation about mental health in your own workplace. Ask your local mental health organizations for information, resources, and speakers, and create a workplace campaign to eliminate stigma and empower all employees to achieve their full potential.

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