It’s a 1,300 kilometre cycling trip, but it is not the biggest hurdle Jade Dulle will have faced in her life.
“I went through a lot of changes. my best friend passed away, my parents got a divorce and all of those different impacts really affected my mental health,” Dulle said.
After graduating high school, Dulle noticed her mental health was failing, but couldn’t find help right away in Saskatoon. Eventually diagnosed with an unspecified form of bipolar disorder, she decided she wanted to raise funds and awareness through the movement “mental health matters.”
Dulle, 21, decided she wanted to help the association in any way she could, and discovered a way by going back to one of her favorite childhood activities: biking. She drew inspiration from her Grade 4 teacher, a Paralympic athlete who took the kids cycling outdoors.
“The further and further I cycled as a child I guess that was an outlet for me for a lot of different things going on in my life,” she said.
“It was therapeutic, actually, so I combined the idea of raising money for something and finding passion within what I was raising for and my love for cycling and the outdoors together to make a summer adventure out of it.”
Jade’s Ride for Mental Health will start in the port of Willow Creek, travelling through major hubs in Saskatchewan, and ending on June 5 in Creighton. Her dad will follow in a motorhome with supplies for the roughly month-long journey.
“The feelings that mostly transpire are excitement and just really the unknown. There’s no fear in the unknown,” said Dulle. “In the end I am going to make it to my destination.”
Dulle’s journey will be documented online via her Facebook page and other social media. In the end, her hope is that by sharing her story, it will encourage others to raise their voices as well.
“Just sharing my story with my family and friends has transitioned with education that it’s more empowering than debilitating sharing my story. That’s really the message, mental health matters…our brain is just an organ and we need to protect that.”