Hamilton teacher in second half of cross-country bike ride for mental health

The Canadian Press/Ableimages

A Stoney Creek high school teacher has cycled his way from Victoria B.C. to Ontario and he’s not done yet.

The 7,500-kilometre cross-country trek is a challenge Cardinal Newman Catholic School teacher Jim Zvonar is hoping to complete in 56 days.

His goal is to raise awareness about mental health issues, following the personal loss of three family members, including most recently, his brother-in-law.

READ MORE: Montrealer embarks on ‘sleepless’ bike ride from Toronto to Montreal to help brother battling cancer

“I was very close to him,” Zvonar said from a stop in Thunder Bay. “He started to spiral out of control due to his mental health issues.

“In the end, he couldn’t overcome that and he did pass away due to a suicide. So this trip is kind of in memoriam to him and his struggles.”

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Zvonar is trying to cover about 150 kilometres per day on his bike and camping where he can.

WATCH BELOW: Cycling to support mental health programs

Click to play video: 'Cycling to support mental health programs' Cycling to support mental health programs
Cycling to support mental health programs – Jun 15, 2017

He says the highlight of the trip has been the reception at every stop.

“The people across Canada, they’ve been phenomenal, very friendly, outgoing, helpful in any way they could be,” he said.

Zvonar is blogging about his coast to coast adventure for those who wish to follow along.

He is also encouraging anyone who wants to show support to do so with a donation to the Suicide Prevention
Community Council of Hamilton.



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