As many of you know, Clara's Big Ride has just launched. Clara's Big Ride is a Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative with the goal of ending stigma around mental health.
Clara Hughes is an Olympian who suffers from depression that is biking across Canada to raise awareness and funds for mental health. On March 15th she began her journey spanning 110 days, 12,000 km's through every province and territory, visiting 95 communities.
Clara’s Big Ride is reaching into communities large and small in every province and territory, to encourage all Canadians to be part of the conversation about mental health and help end the stigma around mental illness. Clara will share her personal experience with mental health issues with youth at schools and community organizations across Canada. The goal? To empower youth to understand what mental health means to them and how they can support others who may be suffering. Our hope is that the next generation of Canadians will grow up in a society where there is no stigma associated with mental illness. Community events will create meaningful opportunities for community building or fundraising in support of local mental health initiatives. Bell and other leading Canadian corporations are covering all costs for Clara’s Big Ride. Every dollar raised will stay in the community to benefit local mental health programs.
I believe this event is a big step in the right direction. Every time a person in the spot light (whether it be a celebrity, athlete etc) speaks about their struggles with mental health, it opens a door to squash stigma. Each time a celebrity speaks about their hardships, it reaches millions of people. It gives hope and a sense of normalcy to others that are struggling, are feeling alone, and feeling like they can't talk about it.
How can you support the Right By You campaign during Clara’s Big Ride?
Clara’s Big Ride offers a great opportunity to bring the Right By You campaign to life in your community and to get more Canadians on board to support mental health. Here are some actions you can take:
- Get people in your community to sign the Right By You petition
Rally your community to do right by our youth by gathering signatures on the Right By You petition. This is a vital first step in showing government that Canadians care about this issue. The more people we get on board, the greater the collective impact we will have.
Raise awareness about the issues surrounding youth mental health by using the Right By You promotional toolkit – available at rightbyyou.ca – to organize an activity or information booth at your local mall, community centre, school or workplace.
- Be a Right By You Ambassador at Clara’s Big Ride public welcome/community events
Join Clara as her tour stops in your area! Inspire others in your community to lend their voice in signing the petition by proudly wearing your Right by You T-shirt, buttons and temporary tattoos at a Clara’s Big Ride event, connecting with other volunteers in the area, and raising the Right by You banner. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
- Spread the word on social media and online Blog, tweet, post and share how you’re supporting youth mental health with the Right By You campaign, and connect online with others participating in a Clara’s Big Ride welcome event.
Don’t forget to use #ClarasBigRide and #RightByYou on all your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts, and have your voice added to the live stream on the Clara’s Big Ride website.
o On Facebook: Head to facebook.com/partnersformh and share photos, videos and updates on our timeline about your Right By You activity in support of Clara’s Big Ride.
o On Twitter: Live-tweet along as Clara makes her stop in your community, and follow us @PartnersforMH to get the latest updates on Clara’s Big Ride and Right By You activities happening in your area and elsewhere. Remember to include #ClarasBigRide, #RightByYou and @PartnersforMH in your tweets!
- Boost our impact by fundraising for Partners for Mental Health
One of the goals of Clara’s Big Ride is to raise much-needed funds for mental health organizations. Fundraise for Partners for Mental Health and help support us in our work to open dialogue, educate and inform Canadians, shift attitudes and behaviours, change policies to improve the mental health system and raise critical funding for programs and services.
Whatever you do, whether it be donating funds or time, or talking to someone who you feel needs help - it is all a step in the right direction.